It can be said. Yesterday was shit, today was great. In our hotel they offered some tours to go and visit the Great Wall, but it included some things we didn’t want to do. Ok. It included A LOT of things we didn’t want to do. So we decided to go on our own to the Great Wall. We Bing-ed a bit, because we couldn’t Google, how to get there and left early in the morning the hotel. We were just 10 minutes away when Hidde said he carried his pocket knife with him -for our self improvised lunch, bread with cheese!?- since we had to pass at least 2 or 3 security checks only to get to the bus this was gonna be a hard one. So back to the hotel then. To make a long story short: we never reached the bus. After 3h of searching, being stuck at the Tiananmen Square, some more searching and almost gotting scammed, we had enough of it. We never found the bus. We never went to the Great Wall. At least not yesterday.
Today we did. We booked one of those tours at the hotel and hopped on the bus at 7h30 this morning. First stop: a jade carving factory. Beautiful. The explanation literally took 1 minute, to let us ‘wander around’ the shop for half an hour. After we went to the Ming tombs, one of the many tombs of the Chinese emperors, to be continued by a typical Chinese lunch. Nope we didn’t eat dog. We ate surrogate meat -so said one of our fellow tableguests- made of gluten 🙂
The afternoon was kept for the cherry on the cake: the Great Wall. We went to Badaling. The most touristic but also most impressive restored part of the Wall. After having a little dispute with our guide about why we wanted to walk upon the Wall and not pay 100 RMY extra to take the cable car up, we started the climb. It was beautiful! We took the left side, right was too crowded. It was really steep sometimes but so totally worth it. We went as far as we could go.
Meanwhile we’ve been on at least 40 pictures and I guess half of them was with people we don’t know. Especially Hidde is a hotty over here. At least a few times an hour someone wants to get a picture with him. I guess it’s the beautiful beard and the new haircut 😉 Sometimes I can be in the pictures too like this one. Where for once I also asked to take a picture with my phone.
The group we went with was great. So nice to be able to actually have a conversation with people. We even found ourselves our first travel friends from Chili, but living in New Zealand, who we’ll visit very soon.
The Wall was great. But it could have been greater without the jade carving factory, ‘free’ tea tasting or millions of other stands who tried to sell us something. Luckily the silk factory fell out.
Oh. We still need to buy some Chinese pop music. Great fun for while we’re driving across New Zealand.
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