We climbed the Great Wall of China!
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Thurs, I still didn't feel well so worked from home, it was like flu with the aches but nothing else, and was knocked out for a bit, felt better by Friday.
Friday we finished work about 3pm (instructions from the boss!) and went for a beer, then last minute Ray invited us up to the Capital Club for a glass of wine - of course we couldn't refuse!! Then afterwards we went to the latest Internations party at the JW Marriott where we went for our first networking do, and we were out on the terrace which was lovely. Must have been about 250 people there from countries all over the world, and it was great because we've got to know a few people now & were able to introduce them to each other, met a few newcomers too and nice having been here 7 weeks now to say hi to people that have arrived a couple of weeks ago
We got to know the organisers of the Beijing Internations at the brunch last week, so it was good to see them again, and they kept slipping us tokens for more free drinks which was a bonus!!
Saturday morning we were up early to go to the Great Wall of China - very exciting.
The Great Wall is about 5500 miles long, goes through 17 provinces & principalities and started life as a line of defence against the Mongolians. Huge parts of the wall are rubble or mounds of earth, and few sections such as where we visited in Mutianyu have been restored. Ray at work had met a guy once in Australia who had walked the whole length of the wall, it took him 14 months..... wow, we were shattered just climbing a bit of it!
Mutianyu is approx 90 km out of Beijing so took us about an hour & a half to get there, and it was great even to get out of the city & see large open green spaces and the smaller villages. Ray took us and he has a driver (quite common here) so it was great doing it this way rather than having to join at tour.
To get up to the wall, there are cable cars to take you up and down, also the option of a toboggan run to take you back down, we were going to do it but the queue was massive so we went back down on the cable car
It was amazing to be on the great wall and quite something to think about it's history and the size of it, such fantastic views along the way of the wall disappearing into the distance, and the Mongolian plains far ahead, it was such a clear day with beautiful blue skies it really was a picture & a pinch yourself moment.
It's the less touristy part but even so there were quite a few people there, unlike when I went before in February it was very quiet. We climbed until we couldn't climb any further, admired the views before preparing our legs for the descent, you'll get an idea of the steepness from the photographs, needless to say we were shattered by the time we got to the bottom!
We'd love to go back again, maybe in October as it's supposed to be beautiful with the autumn leaves, plus it will be cooler & we can climb a different section.
Stopped for a lunch at a Chinese on the way back in the hillsides, and spookily it was the same place I'd been to when I was here before! A great meal, very cheap compared to the city, and very tasty
Chilled out at home for a few hours, then popped out to the local to meet some friends, 2 people we'd introduced to each other on the Friday night met us there too, they'd been out for dinner beforehand so looks like we're responsible for a possible romance too!!
A lazy Sunday today having a sleep in, then a wander, met our friend Ali for some food - now back home & about to watch a DVD, The best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which we didn't get around to seeing in the UK.
Right, will put some piccies on & say bye for now.
Tracy & Andy - climbers of the Great Wall of China!!