Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ending on a high note... or continuing our tour of China's dead people

On our last day in China we spent a leisurely morning. We were slow to wake, took our time at breakfast, and just relaxed. It will be a stark contrast to tomorrow morning when the alarm goes off at 4:15 am. After lunch, we decided to get out and do something, so opted to head around the corner to a museum which is very close to our hotel and by which we have walked dozens of times between this trip and the last.

Well, we should have visited it sooner. It turns out to be the "The Museum of the Nanyue King of Western Han Dynasty". (Their translation, not mine.) Essentially, in the early 80's, when a mountain was being leveled to build apartments, they uncovered a tomb from the Han Dynasty, c. 120 BC. It was a multi-chambered king's tomb, complete with king, concubines, treasure, and human sacrifices. The unusual part is that they left the tomb where it was and built an entire museum right over the top of it... and you can walk right in! How cool is that? Also, it's just a beautiful museum and very well done. Even better? Adults were just $2 per person to get in and children under 18 were free.

Some pictures:

The entrance hall

The view from outside of the enclosed tomb area

Stairs going down into the tomb itself

J. and children in one of the side chambers

I won't show you every picture, but this is too amusing to pass by. If you can't read it, it says, "Remains of (name) a concubine," and pretty much it looks like a pile of dirt. P. is convinced that's all it is.

The view of the tomb area from above

But wait, there's more. The treasure portion is housed in a separate building.

This is part of the king's sarcophagus (my term, not theirs). Same difference, though.

This was the king's burial covering. It is even more impressive when you look closely and realize that each of those green sections is a piece of jade sewn together with silk. It is comprised of over 2200 individual pieces of jade. Oh, and he was buried with a pearl-filled pillow and with a bag of pearls in his mouth.

One last item before we move on. This is part of a crossbow that was one of a dozen found in the tomb. Some of them had a gear mechanism which shot the arrows farther. Remember the tomb dates from ~120 BC.

Once again, I'm quite sure that J. and I enjoyed the museum far more than the girls. They'll appreciate that they were there some day. After the museum it was time to head back and pick-up the little items that were the sole reason we were in Guangzhou at all. Here they are... nice little visas in their passports that will allow them to enter the US and become citizens upon landing.


Phew!

We ended the day with a very nice dinner at an Italian restaurant with two other families from our travel group. It was certainly the fanciest dinner we've had in the past three weeks and it was the perfect way to end our time here.

Adoption travel is exhausting and sometimes overwhelming, but we have also had a wonderful time. Our new daughters are amazing and fantastic, and we have made quite a few new friends on this trip. Never before have we been treated to so many wonderful meals by so many wonderful people. Thanks to every single one of you, if you are reading.

Our bags are nearly all packed, though I hope they hold together. At 5:30 we will leave Guangzhou for a two hour or so van ride over to Hong Kong. Once there, we will catch our direct flight home to Chicago. The next time I check in with all of you, it will be from home! R. is just excited to go on another airplane, while Y. can tell something is up and about to change in a major way. She's been a little on edge today. We'll just keep them moving in the morning until we get to the plane, and then they can crash again. Well, except for the multiple trips I will be taking to the lavatories. Anyone want to start a pool as to how many times I will make that trip over the course of 14 hours?

4 comments:

Alex and Riann said...

Praying for your entire family during your return home and the transitions ahead! Thank you for allowing us to share this journey via your blog. Such a gift.

Shecki Grtlyblesd said...

Oh, I *loved* visiting the mausoleum! It was so interesting! My boys liked seeing pictures of all the swords and bows and the 3 legged pots for cooking humans. The drum bell things there were cool, too. That totally ranked right up there with Safari Park for me. :)

Anonymous said...

My guess for the bathroom trips will be 16 times over the 14 hours. I am so happy that you will be home soon.

Big Hugs, Elizabeth L

Ken said...

Nothing like getting on a plane in Hong Kong at one time of day, and landing in Chicago at the same time, during the same day :)

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