Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Great Wall

The last week of May I finally made it to the Great Wall! I've tried to get there all year, but any chance I had to travel, I traveled in other cities around China rather than visiting sites near my home. We had a culture week at the university and took the students on a field trip to climb the wall. Although it was only May, we've had summer weather for quite some time now. The day of our visit was nearly 100 degrees. It was really hot, especially climbing all of those steps, but worth it!

There are many sections of the Great Wall around northern China that are restored for tourists. We visited the Mutianyu section. It is a little further away from Beijing, so it doesn't get as much traffic as the Badaling gate. Without a crowd of tourists, this section was more enjoyable to walk. Once I got away from the main entry points to the wall, I had a lot of it to myself. 

There are two entry points to the wall. One of them is by cable car (highly recommended) or you can climb the 1,000+ steps to the top. I walked up the stairs and it was really hot considering the temperature that day. Next time I visit this section I'll definitely pay extra for the sky lift.  

The wall was built over the mountains so it isn't flat. It curves up and down across the landscape and can be quite a workout to cross. I was so excited to finally experience it that I practically ran from one end to the other.

After crossing the wall, I didn't feel like walking all the way back down again. There are two other options to get down, the sky-lift and the toboggan run. I elected the toboggan. It took less than 5 minutes to make it down to the bottom and was a lot more fun than climbing down 1,000+ steps!

Have you visited the Great Wall? Which section did you see?

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