Great Wall, Bell Tower, Night Market

Trip Start Sep 26, 2013
Trip End Oct 26, 2013

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Flag of China  , Beijing Region,
Sunday, September 29, 2013

After a good sleep we were up early to head out to the Great Wall at Mutianyu. We needed the early start to beat traffic out of Beijing and to avoid the crowds at the wall. We had bread and Nutella for breakfast that we bought the night before at the store. Traffic wasn't too bad and we made it to our destination in an hour and a half which was good according to our guide Drujal.

We decided to make the steep climb up to the wall instead of taking the cable car. We walked along the wall for about 3 hours stopping at the watch towers along the way for pictures. The section we walked along had been restored so it was very similar to last time we were in China with some very steep sections. The wall was quite when we first got there so we took advantage to take pictures without a bunch of people in the background. The only disappointing part is that the pollution has been so thick since we got to Beijing that you couldn't see very far. It's like being in the fog but it just won't dissipate. To get back down from the wall we went on the luge ride. It was similar to what we did in New Zealand except this one was in a metal trough. It was lots of fun except that you couldn't pass anyone so once we caught up to the slow lady in front of us, we could only go as fast as her. For lunch we stopped at a little shack that served crepes and noodle bowls, a winning combination. We then headed back to Beijing, with a "rest me du jour" on the way.

Once back in Beijing we caught the subway to the bell and drum towers. These towers were used to tell time in ancient the past and were both quite the climb up a long steep stair case to get to the top. Once up top you could hardly see anywhere because of the pollution in the air. After touring each tower we went for a tour of the Hutong district which is old Beijing. The streets are very narrow and it was busy. We had visited this area previously on bikes last time we were in Beijing and found it much easier to get around by foot.

From the Hutong district we took the bus over to the Wangfujing night market. Again we had been here previously but it's a very interesting place to visit. The market was packed with people all trying out the different weird foods available. We had supper in one of the restaurants in the market, some chicken, broccoli and amazing dumplings. After supper we stopped at one of the stands to get scorpions on a stick for dessert. I had had them last time and they were just as good this time. They fry them up before serving them so they kind of taste like salty soft shell crab. From the market we returned to our hotel by subway. After the long day of walking and the thousands of steps we climbed we were all feeling pretty tired. It's going to be an early night tonight. We visit Tianamen square and the forbidden city in the morning before catching the bullet train to Xi'an in the afternoon.
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Mama on

Glad you are finally there and back having fun, walking miles and eating good (?)food!
Surprising the small group!
Peaceful wknd at the cabin. Burnt a gazillion leaves!
Good news from Claire and David. Baby Emanuelle Merritt Lynn Magnon was born Friday morning . She will be called Emma (phew!). All are doing well. Picture is in Andre's e-mail..
Have fun on the bullet train. Look forward to you next post.

Mama on

Oops spelled it wrong! Emmanuelle

Mama#2 on

Ace having fun squirrel chasing. Raining hard today so we are spending more time inside.

Grandma on

My computer has been in "intensive care" for a week and I just got it back so caught up on all your news so far all at once! Sounds like a great trip (once it got started!) Looking forward to future news. Stay well and enjoy! G.

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