Hello from China!!! We are currently in Xi'an taking a break from the craziness for a little bit. The traveling has been a very interesting learning experience. We have visited Haerbin, one of the coldest cities in China, climbed the Great Wall, seen the Terra-cotta warriors, and braved the intense Chinese trains during holiday time. It has been amazing, here I can share a few of our favorite pictures so far
Welcome to Haerbin, Steph in front of the Church of St. Sophia
Javier at one of the parks here with the amazing ice sculptures, part of the Ice Festival in January.
Another awesome ice sculpture and a tiny Steph.
It was so cold, we froze!
On the frozen river at sunset.
Tasty treats in Haerbin! Notice the frost on Steph's eyelashes and hat.
So lovely.. but cold.
Javier in the train on the way to Beijing.
We have arrived! Steph at the Happy Dragon hostel in Beijing.
Crazy food carts on Wangfujing snack street, kind of a tourist trap.
Walking around lookin' for trouble
Steph at Forbidden city
Painting at the Forbidden City
Temple at the Summer Palace
Frozen lake at the Summer Palace
Yes, we did.
Cute little lions at Summer Palace(which is huge by the way.)
Crazy people walking on the frozen lake.
Ahem, more crazy people.
Two crazy kids in China.
On the way to our most memorable expedition, to Simatai and the Great Wall.
Here we are! We stayed at a guesthouse called the Dongpo Inn, in a tiny village right next to the Great Wall at Simatai. This location is closed to tourists but we got to sneak up there in the afternoons to climb it
The Dongpo Inn and Peepee, the dog.
Javier hiking nearby the village, Great Wall.
Steph on the only road into the village near Simatai.
We made it!
It was really windy up there.
So lovely at sunset.
So very cold, but beautiful.
Steph boots at the Great Wall.
Try and locate the tiny Steph in this picture!
Painting in the village.
Javier beginning the most intense hike. To the highest elevation on the Great Wall, Tower 16 at Simatai.
The craziest hike.
Somehow we made it, just as the sun went down.
At the top!
We conquered again.
On the way back to Beijing.
Dramatic China pic.
Javier at Central Academy of Fine Arts.
Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven High Jump!
Then to 798 Art District, the place to see contemporary art in Beijing.
A great exhibit of custom made and painted lamps based on popular culture images.
Shopping around at the hutongs, old streets of Beijing.
This was the most amazing thing, a huge rooster just hanging outside this store. He was pecking at some empty beer bottles!
Bye Beijing! On to Xi'an.
We met up with Sophia!! Here we are at the Muslim Quarter, best place to get great street food.
Javier playing with a traditional Chinese candy!
Sophia and Steph at the famous water and music show at Da yan ta, The Wild Goose Pagoda.
Javier and Steph
NuNu, the adorable doggy at The 7 Sages Hostel in Xi'an.
Riding a tandem bicycle on the old city walls of Xi'an.
Javier in front of the Bell Tower at night.
Steph at the museum of the Terra-cotta Warriors.
There they are!!
Terra-cotta warrior display at the Shaanxi Museum.
Da Yan Ta, so cold with snow!
at the top of Da Yan Ta!
One view from the top.
Javier at the top!
Some delicious Shaanxi noodles.
And that's all for now, it has been amazing but it's not over yet. Chinese New Year is on February 3rd and we will spend it at Sophia's house with her family. We are very excited to experience it in a traditional way. After that we will be off to Sichuan province to Chengdu. Wish us luck!