Boxing Day (Great Wall)

Trip Start Dec 13, 2009
Trip End Jan 22, 2010

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Flag of China  , Beijing,
Saturday, December 26, 2009

After quite an eventful Christmas Day, you would expect that we would sleep in before enjoying a leisurely day. Not the Fishers.  We were up at 6, ready to climb the Great Wall.  We met our guide Lyndsey in the hotel reception at 7:30 and we left to drive there.
 The drive there was very interesting because we were stopped on the on ramp of the ring road.  The freeway was completely bare because Lyndsey said that there must be some famous people coming.  In a matter of minutes, a cavalcade of black cars passed, and then we were allowed to get back on.  It was some government officials.  Lyndsey was surprised that we do not do the same in Australia. we said that we would never block off roads for the government.  People used to jog with John Howard; we don't care.  In a city with the most cars in the world at 4 million cars, I don't know how they can afford to block off whole freeways, but it was interesting all the same.
We got there around 9:30, and it was a pity that the bus didn't have a lot of heating but at least the temperature didn't change too much from the bus to outside.   We walked to the cable car.  We went to the same section of the Great Wall that I went to last week, called Mutianyu.  This time, we took the easier option of taking the cable car up to the top.  We went the opposite direction of the Great Wall than I went to last Saturday, so that I wouldn't be doing the same thing twice.
This time, the walk was hard because it was so cold. The steps on this section were mostly small steps; there were not knee-high steps like in the other direction.  The toughest section was one that was 60degrees steep at some places and 200 metres long.  It took us awhile to climb that section, especially when mum had some slight asthma.
The last few steps to the end of the Mutianyu were the steepest; although they were designed as stairs, you had to climb them like a ladder because it was so steep and your foot could not fully fit on.
We made our way back down, back to the cable car.  We were lucky that it did not snow today like it has on other days on the Great Wall, because it would have been impossible to climb it.  There were no handrails, and there were not many people at all.  This section of the wall is less favoured by tourists, which makes it less commercialised and less people.  It feels more authentic that way. 
After the cable car, there is a long hallway of stalls either side that you have to make your way through to get to the bus.  Each stall had almost the exact same thing, which I didn't see as an advantage for the shop keepers.  We are suckers for a bargain, so we bought a few things.  Once we had bought a few things, the other shop keepers could see that we had taken the bait, so they pushed harder to get us to buy more.  that worked, because we did buy more.  Dad had all the money, so we all always asked him for more.  This one time, mum was calling out to dad for money, who was ages away.  The other shop keepers down the road joined in, shouting "Andrew, Andrew!" It was like the domino effect as all of the shop keepers joined in as they heard it.  Needless to say, dad got the idea.
We took the bus back home, feezing still.  We found out that it was only -10degrees Celcius outside.  It certainly felt that cold with us in jeans and jackets.
We had dinner and went to bed super early.  We had had too many early starts and late finishes recently.
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Andrew on

The best wall hike yet for its steep walks and isolated location

bethfisher on

Hi Amy!
Sounds like you're having an amazing time! Missed you at Christmas, but I'm glad you had a great day. Looking forward to reading all your other exciting adventures!
Bethany xx

joan34 on

Hi Amy,
You all certainly work hard at your holidays
Loved the description
Love to all nana & pa

The Jays on

Nihow Fishers. It was wonderful to read about your Christmas day and visit to the Great Wall. We wish you a Merry Christmas as you continue your holidays, and safe travelling. Love the Jays.

shirley on

I'm so glad to see your photo pictures here. you are a happy family. I'm looking forward to seeing you soon. Tomorrow is Dec.29th. call me as soon as possible. Enjoy the holidays season in China.

Cathy on

Hi Amy, what a great Christmas Day, fantastic experience and love seeing all the photos, say hi to all the family..Love Cathy and Laura

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