We were picked up at 8:00 AM from the Pentahotel by guide Katrina and a driver in a van from Stretch-A-Leg Travel (http://www.stretchalegtravel.com/). Headed out of the city for the Shisan Ling/Ming Tombs. The final resting place for the last 13 of the 16 Ming emperors, it has good feng shui with the mountains to the north. Only one of the tombs has been excavated, and one has been restored.
Another gray day.
We first visited part of the 14-mile Spirit Way, leading to the tombs.
Shengong Shende/Stele Pavilion:
Next we were driven into the mountains, zigzagging farther up onto lesser roads to reach the place for a "farmhouse" lunch.
Lunch on the patio:
Still pretty overcast.
Subway (the sandwich shop) arrived courtesy of the 2008 Olympics:
The Great Wall to the west:
Entering the Great Wall:
View along the outside of the wall:
The first of nine towers (there are 23 on this section) we were to pass through:
Brynne gives perspective to the stones:
Straw at the airport: