Saturday, September 8, 2012

May 19; The Great Wall of China - freakin' finally

Day 104

There are a lot of hiking groups that people can join from websites such as couchsurfing and BJstuff. Our friend always participates in them and this time he's the one hosting it :)  So after many missed opportunities, we finally geared up for the Great Wall of China, hosted by our very own Uncle Heys! Heys is a frequent hiker and we were all super excited to finally go with him. We left the school bright and early on a Saturday morning to meet the rest of the hikers and holy crap there were a lot of them. Apparently, the groups were never that big, but we were lucky this time.
The plan was to take the public bus close to the Great Wall site, and then rent a private van to take us to the Wild Wall. We planned to hike the fake part of the Great Wall (it was a fault in history - someone realized they were building the Great Wall in the wrong direction) and then end on the real Great Wall at Mutianyu. The expected duration of the hike: 5 hours. And so our adventure on the Great Wall of China began:
Definitely not a walk in the park.
It was a really hot, foggy day, but it was so amazing.
High school reunion going on there.
Break time!
Second break! 
ya, we went there. 
You could probably see why there is no admittance. If you fall, you're dinner..
Yay! We successfully reached the end of the Fake Wall!
The Great of Wall of China, Mutianyu
The end of the hike
At the Mutianyu side of the Wall, you can take a cable car up or slide down.  Since we climbed up, some of us slid down. It was really cool!
 Slide = 60 RMB

Souvenir stalls
On the way back to the station.
We had a lovely dinner with the hiking group. I was surprised to find out, that quite a few of them were vegetarians. We split the group into two - veggie eaters vs. everything eaters - it made ordering easier. I met so many nice people today. I love hearing "how I got here" kinda stories and everyone in the group had their  very own story. Like there was a girl from Isreal who actually lives with her family in Beijing,a guy from the Czech Republic was doing some business there, a guy from the U.K. who had been travelling for quite a few months, and a whole group of girls who were there for an internship - oh wait that's us. I'm really excited to use couchsurfing for our travels! One of the best days I had in Beijing =)
Shout out to Heys for organizing this!

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