Tuesday, April 12, 2011

China-Beijing-Great Wall (Day 63)

We did a some research in Lonely Planet of how to get out to the Great Wall.  For those unfamiliar there are about 5 different sections of the Great Wall you can hike on from Beijing.  They are varying distances from Beijing between about 45 minutes to as far as 3 hours.  We would have really liked to have gone out and done the 10 km hike between Jinshanling and Simatai taken the zip ride down from the wall but 5 km and the zip line were closed so we headed out the heaviest tourist section Badaling.


Before heading out we stopped for breakfast at a little spot in Beijing for ?red bean and ?, a croissant, red bean and cake, and yogurt.  It was pretty good and only about $5 for us both.  We figured out we could go by subway to the bus stop and then catch a bus to the wall and Anja again liked the adventure of this.


Since it was already 9 am the blue line was pretty empty and after 45 minutes we were on the bus headed to the wall.  P3161288

A 1.5 hour bus ride we were dropped at the parking lot.


We walked up and paid our 80 Yuen ($12 each) entrance fee and headed up on the wall.  I’d read from the entrance to the left was shorter and less visited so we headed left and then retrace to back and head right to the end.


We headed up left.  It was a little cold and inside the watch towers the cold set in quick but walking on the wall in the sunlight the temperature was perfect.  Never mind that we both were wearing scholler pants, tech shirts, fleece jackets, and nice jackets on top of that. 


To the left we were soon alone on the wall.  AMAZING!


Looking across at a closed section of the wall.


Looking back at the what I’m referring to the left side of the wall.  We had started in the saddle.



Looking back at the circus of the wall.  The parking on the left and the rightside of the wall heading up the hill from the center section of the pass.


A section of the wall that no longer exists.  Wonder what existed here ever? 

While I stopped to snap this picture Anja walked ahead.  As I took the picture a woman tapped my shoulder and I moved thinking she wanted to get out of a picture of something.  Nope she wanted me to pose with her for a picture.  This was the only Chinese interaction we had with the Chinese interested in us.  We quickly hiked up to the high point of the right side.  It was packed with people and hiking the wall quickly lost a lot of enjoyment.


However, looking down from the high point to continue on the wall was again mostly empty again.


Looking back up at the high point watch tower.


We had a great day on the wall and hiked both sides in about 3.5 hours.  We headed back on the bus which was packed with people.  We had to push our way on to get on and I wasn’t even sure Anja got on and had to start yell if she had made it on which she had.  It was packed and Anja was standing; I had a seat but as Anja said “I looked back and a woman had her purse on your head”; well that’s just they way things are in China.  If I were doing this again I would probably go with a tour as I think it would be faster out to the wall and back but not sure.


Getting back to the hotel we wondered into a mall and found a food court which had a hot pot restaurant which was packed.  Someone food us the one English menu they had and we managed to get some pretty great food.

No comments: