When I first arrived to Beijing,I hated it. People are snorting, spitting, chewing with open mouth, don’t use tissue, very rude and Beijing itself wasn’t exactly what I expected. But seeing this amazing, giant wall…. that was something different. As you walk on it, you forget about all the bad things and you only see beauty. It was winter but we were so lucky to have the sunniest day. It was magical with all the walls running around the hills like a little snake and the beautiful green scenery. It was definitely worth a hassle ☺️
*Good afternoon from Beijing. Today wasn’t an easy day. We woke up at 6am, got ready by 6.40 for our pick up. They first took us to an other hostel where we had our breakfast – scrambled egg, bacon, sausage, toasts and hash brown. The bacon wasn’t really bacon and the sausage wasn’t exactly looking good but it was tasty and that’s what mattered. As it was only two of us we were a bit surprised if we are going to have a private tour but as the bus arrived, we had 21 of us to see the Great Wall today. Our travel buddies were from the UK, US, Denmark, Argentina,France, Spain and who knows what else ☺️ The guide didn’t say a lot during the 1.5 hour trip to the part of the wall we went to but when we got off he took us to a map and explained it all. The part we saw today is one of the oldest one, it had 23 towers on the map and he explained that up to the 23rd is the new part and from the the 23rd was the old part. He also suggested us to take the cable car which takes us up in 5-7 minutes to tower 14 and then we can have time to walk to 23 or further if we want to and have time. He also mentioned that we can walk up to the wall, more precisely to the 10th tower and walk from there but to walk up there takes about 30mins and then we might won’t have the power or the time to see till the 23rd. You would ask now, why it starts from the 10th? Well, the road takes up to the middle which is the 10th but we can either go right (to 1) or left which would take us to 23.
Of course we thought we are tough mofos, we can walk up. Even before we touched the wall, we walked up 1260steps (counted on the way back)… I almost threw up my breakfast half way through that’s how tough it was. We then started to walk the wall which was constant ups and downs (more ups than downs the way to 23) and it had hundreds of very steep stairs. Hopefully you can see on the pictures how steep some part of the wall is. The weather was about 10 degrees and beautiful, sunny so we were sweating buckets. We took every opportunity for photos and my leg was slowly dying going up and down.
We got to 20 which is one of the highest point on this part, had a breath and walked more up of course. After we got to 23, we saw that the old road has grass, dust and all sort of green,it wasn’t clean to walk but it wasn’t impossible. As we had to be back by 1pm (our walking time was 3 hours there and back), we left 23 and headed back. I have to say, with my busted knee and Rich’s bad ankle, we pretty much crippled down and both of our legs were like jelly by the time we got to the restaurant where we had a real Chinese lunch on lazy Susan (sharing). The food was a great selection of rice, noodles, chicken, lots of vegetables and of course stuff I wouldn’t know what they were.
After lunch and a nice chat with the people around the table we got back home, again on an other 1.5 hours journey.
I have to say, even though my knee hurts like it did after getting to Macchu Picchu, it was worth it just as much as it was back then. It was beautiful and just the feeling that we were there… fantastic. And we did it! From the whole 21 people it was only us and 3 other people who walked up from the bottom till the top. The rest took the cable car, few of them didn’t even bother to walk up till the old part.
The guide told us, that the wall is 2000 years old but it has been re-built several times. The new part is still hundreds of years old. They built it originally against the mongol army plus that’s how they divided country borders.
As we were sweaty like hell, the first thing we did when we got back, took showers. We had a bit of a chill,checked visas to all countries we go and then we decided to eat in the hostel’s restaurant.
We ordered dumpling filled with courgette, fried rice with meat and vegetables and noodle with diced beef. I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so good Chinese food. Their portions are huge but they served it as a family service, brought all of them out in bowls and gave us little plates. It was fantastic. Even though, I have to say since we are here, nothing stays in me longer than 2 hours. That will be easy losing weight if I keep going on like that ☺️
Today was a great experience, I’m actually glad now we came and saw the wall ☺️It was definitely a highlight of the Chinese trip.*