After 5 days of intense training, we finally have a day off… Some of us decide to remain at the hotel, while others join the discovery tour, organised by Shun, a student of Zhang laoshi. Shun is also a travel guide.
The trip starts at the Great Wall, the JuYongGuan section. We ascend initially in the rain, enjoying some stunning views over this section. The higher we get, the more the question ‘de we really have a day off?’ crosses our mind. The climb is really steep at moments! The crowds do thin as we ascend and the rain turns into sunshine, much to our own happiness.
From high above we enjoy the views over this wall section and the surrounding mountain area. The clouds cover the area in a typical foggy view, matching many pictures. When we’re back down, the clouds have vanished and we face a clear blue sky! Pity we’re not up anymore…
A jade factory is the next stop, to display some masterpieces of handicraft. The local guide explains to us the many different types of jade that are used for the fabrication of the typical statuettes and jewellery. After that, dinner is served at the same location.
The summer palace follows… Alas… It’s a sunny Sunday, so this visit sounds far more as an overcrowded walk in a park. The scenery offers us Chineses, more Chineses and still more do follow. Flooded by the crowds I wonder if it’s an appropriate choice to get rid of the 1-child policy… The government explains the people that this rule is necessary, since they have to stabilise the consumption / production rate of the country and they need more people to pay the taxes. However… overcrowded cities and environmental pressure are willingly accepted in this trajectory.
We conclude with a stop at the weapon shop, to buy a trouser and a tai chi sword… Since here in China they have more appropriate kung fu material as in Belgium.
Tomorrow the training will start once again… 5 more days till the performance.