The Great Wall

Yesterday we went to the Great Wall. This was one of the main reasons we chose to do our 2 days of sightseeing in Beijing. We’ve seen pictures of it in the summer, and its packed with people. Having done it once now, I can’t imagine doing it with so many people. Granted, it was FREEZING yesterday, but the lack of people was an ok tradeoff in my mind. They bring you to one main parking lot and from there you can access the wall and choose a couple of different directions. All of them essentially head straight up…stair after stair after stair. They are steep, uneven, and the steps vary greatly in height. Regularly I found myself having to lift one foot above the knee of my other leg. And the railing was really short, so you found yourself hunched over very awkwardly. I never wanted to let go of the railing as I was quite sure if I fell, I wouldn’t stop moving until I hit the bottom. We were given 1.5 hours, so we walked straight up for 45 minutes and then back down. Down was clearly worse than up. But the views were amazing and the wall really a feat. Someday it would be cool to return and do a long stretch of it, ideally when the wind was a little less strong. There were moments when we thought we might actually get blown down the mountain!

Otherwise we’ve been eating yummy food (we did laugh at the tourist lunch stop where we were served french fries in addition to the Chinese food….not a single french fry got eaten….the duck was scarfed up though!) and meeting other families in the hotel. So far no one from Seattle, but we’ve made friends from Dallas and Denver, and soon Chicago. It’s been interesting to hear about everyone else’s process…we’ve all had our own quirky experiences.
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