Great Wall, Crumbling Wall
Trip Start Feb 19, 2010
257Trip End Jan 31, 2012
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Arrived around 7am at the West Beijing train station from where I had to walk to the Subway station and make my way to the hostel. Had no real plans for this trip into Beijing except to visit the Great Wall which I didnt get around to doing the previos time. In the end, given the heat and humidity, just checked in and ended up spending most of the day in the room using the laptop.
Wandered around the streets a bit in the afternoon in order to visit the supermarket and a restraurant where I got a nice crispy sweet and sour pork dish with a bowl of rice.
Day 2 - Jinshanling part of Great Wall
Had the tour to the great wall today. Would have preferred doing an overnight option but needed a group of 4 and wasnt lucky enough to find one at short notice
Mini-Bus was packed with people and we had a 2.5hr bus trip to get out to the wall. this trip sort of gave an idea of the size of Beijing because it was a long time before we hit the city limits.
Had 3 hrs at the wall and the part I walked was 3km or so long. Basically up hill walking for an hour. While the first part of the wall had been restored the later parts hadnt and so found myself walking up some steep rocky bits or along the edge of a crumbling wall. Along the way passed 6 watch tower in various states of repair and didnt go any further since the wall started to head back downhill and I didnt want to have to do the extra up hill on my way back to the bus.
Besides, the view from the top of the hill was going to be the best I was going to get of the wall and mountains in this area. Its just a pity about the weather being so cloudy and foggy. Guessing its cloud and mist though some of the other guys on the tour said it was smog. Got no idea how to tell the difference and wandered if they could or whether they were just attributing it to the fact we were near Beijing
Found out that it seems that the weather has been unsessionally wet in China. Seems that my luck with the weather has been bad and that while doing the Yantze river, and for some time after that, there has been a lot of flooding going on around the country.
On the way back to town stopped off for lunch (included) but unlike the one we had with the Xian tour this one was fairly flavourless and so didnt eat very much. Finally after another 2hrs of driving we got back to the hostel and after getting something to eat called it a night.
Day 3 - Nothing
Pretty much nothing much but the laptop in the morning. After lunch though had to head out because it seems that the top of my shoes a starting to split from the bottom. Am guessing that when they got soak by the rain during the Yantze River trip the leather got softened up and ripped as the sho was drying. In anycase this is probably the first time 've had to replace a shoe for a reason other than the sole wearing out.
Had remembered seeing a shopping mall for sports goods when I had wandered through Wungfang Shopping mall on my previous visit so decided to check it out. Lots of sports and a few camping store. Didnt feel like buying the $200 shoes and found some $100 shoes but would need to get more money out which I didnt want to do. In the end bought some cheap $30 shoes. They feel Ok on the feet but I guess I'll see how long they last.
On the way back to the metro decided to wander down the food street once again. Bought some seafood balls on a stick and candied hawthorn on a stick. Wasn't game to try some of the more adventurous foods. These included scorpian, cockroach, lizard, spider, bird fetueses, etc, etc, etc.
Before heading back to the hostel to call it a day, headed to a pharmacy to look for some wetsern medicine and then the supermarket to buy a few more supplies for the train.