Sunday July 17th - Last day in Beijing.
We went to the Great Wall. It was so beautiful, and like everywhere, lots of people. We made it pretty far up. It is very steep and dangerous. All the steps, sidewalks etc. in China have lots of little uneven pavers and doors have a threshold that goes up and across, so you have to be very careful when you are walking.
In the afternoon, we went to the Jade market.
Overall, Beijing was very modern, with more people and traffic than you can imagine. We went to a grocery store (our guide called it the Chinese Wal-mart) and they had lots of American products, with the American logo and Chinese writing. They had Lays potato chips - the Chinese twist- seaweed and lobster flavor! They also had regular flavors. We bought M&M's and Coke. When we went out to eat they have Coke/Pepsi (which they just call Coke) or Sprite. They serve it in a small glass with no ice - no refills. By the time we got home, I was dying for a Diet Coke!
The people were genuinely very nice to us, and we really were impressed with everyone we met and everything we saw there. Everything is very clean, orderly, and everyone polite. Even the traffic, which is like NY rush hour all the time, is very orderly. Every second, cars come within centimeters of each other, each one trying to inch the others out to get a spot, horns blowing all the time, but no one ever gets mad. It is a wonderful place.