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... off we to explore Beijing. Trying to cross the road was fun, they don't like stopping for anything especially pedestrians. We took the road opposite the hotel, which was narrow and sometimes without a pavement. Bike and cars honking their horns at you every few minutes. We got our metro card, two pound returnable deposit on the card, and two pound for ten journeys on the metro, any distance. Every journey only costs you twenty pence, however long ...
... so I was very excited to strap some skis on my feet once again.
As Beijing doesn't really have many mountains, this is one of the only places to ski. Therefore, you see some very interesting characters of people who have never skied before. Exhibit A- wearing appropriate clothes. I saw a few people skiing in jeans. I can only imagine how uncomfortable the car ride home would be if they slipped and fell, and having to sit in wet jeans for a few hours on ...
... highest point which seemed to be a 15 minute climb away. Yeh right. The Great Wall was built in case the Mongols ever invaded (which they never did, good old paranoia again!) and so was constructed across the tops of the mountains for about 1200 miles following every contour. The steps began quite steep but as they were built by little Chinese legged dudes and I was excited I began taking the steps 2 at a time, overtaking all the wheezing dumplings ...
... off with our bikes about 30k’s from the wall and have a great ride through the hills, through small towns and past corn fields. The area is still very smoggy and there is lots of rubbish. From our accommodation we can walk through a ‘secret passage’ and pay Y2 ($0,40) entry fees. The wall is very impressive and we are on a stretch that has hardly any other tourists (just 2 with a guide that takes them to a watch tower to sleep there for ...
... Pan Jia Yuan Market. When I looked up this place, the description said it was a large outside market that has many stands for selling antiques and the websites always said, “Even Hilary Clinton has shopped here!” I guess that also makes me want to shop there? Anyway, the subway station we got off of was called Pan Jia Yuan so I figured that the market would be pretty easy to find. However, we could not find it off of the station map ...