Another very exciting day out this time to visit some not so well known things, once again our taxi came to pick us up at 10:00am and we were off straight away. First stop the Grottos - they are caves and at this particular place are filled with big Buddha sculptures and there are 39 caves with carvings, sculptures and temples. They were built over 1500 years ago. Each cave has about four big sculptures and lots of little ones surrounding them. When we went there it was freezing cold and pouring down rain so we all had coats on and had borrowed umbrellas from our driver. There was also a big track leading up to them which was dirt so it was just a big muddy slosh and all our new shoes got dirty. There was also puddles everywhere and I fell in one of them on the way back to the car. All in all though they were truly amazing things. When we were back in the car we started driving to the suspended (anging) temple it - was built 1400 years ago and somehow it still stands. It was a little scary to climb up as it was only held in place by some shabby old bits of wood balancing on a clifface but even so we climbed up it until we reached the top and then we climbed around inside it. The rain had stopped by know but it was still very cold outside and was not the perfect day to be sightseeing at all but we all enjoyed it a lot.
We arrived in Datong by train from Xian, it took about 15 hours. We reached Datong at approximately 2:30pm and after a ride in a cellotape made taxi we arrived at our hotel.
We checked into our room and for the rest of the day were just resting. It was the next day that was very exciting as at 10:30am a car came for us to take us to the Great Wall of China, we left at about 11:00am to go to the first site of where we would see one of Chinas many beauty’s. When we got to the great wall we drove through these big gates and once we were through them our driver parked the car. We walked around the great beauty ourselves, at the first site we also saw lots of little houses made of muddy clay it was kind of like a little village and there was lots of people around. One man we came across said hello in mandarin to us and then was speechless for words so we just walked off, him still grinning at us. We looked at the wall as well as climbing it and walking through it. In fact there was one part where you had to climb up this steep hill (made of that clay stuff) and then you were on top of the wall. Only we think the first site was a fort for the great wall but anyway back in the car and off to site two - it was amazing!!! We climbed a lot there and there was even this one hill which only my dad climbed as it was too steep. There was also many that all of us climbed and being there reminded me of when we were traveling through outback Australia. The Great Wall of China was very fun and being there made me very happy. It was about an hours drive back to the center of Datong, which by the way has 3 million people in it - that is more than all the people in Mongolia where we are off to next.
A few pictures from China - in the next three days we will see the Terracotta Warriors and the Great Wall before heading to Mongolia!
Molly: Hi guys, it's me, hope year 5 is treating you well!! My teachers this year are a real drag!! Mum and Dad; boring! I know you won't have that problem at Batemans Bay Public School.........!!!??!!