Saturday, September 20, 2008

Steep StacThe guide that had taken Beth and I around the Forbidden city took some of us out to the Great Wall on Friday. We went to the Mutianyu section which is about 2 hrs east of Beijing. There is a section of the wall that most people go to here in the city named Badaling and during the Olympics the bike races went past it. We wanted something less touristy and farther out. I'm glad we chose Mutianyu. Rosemary was an awesome guide. She got us a Mercedes van(airconditioned, thank goodness), there were four of us, we were gone about 6 hrs and it cost us 53$ total. Though walking the Great Wall was no easy feat, and at times I thought I might die from pain and sweating so much, it's my second most amazing thing I saw here next to the Forbidden City. I'm glad we weren't here during the Olympics because Rosemary said that it was crowded and 90% of the visitors were westerners. We decided to get there when it opened at 8:30 and there were hardly anyone there. It was quiet and peaceful, well as peaceful as it can be when you are in pain. Let me explain the steps as best as I can. None of them are the same. Some are only 7 inches wide and 2 inches high, then you would go not very far to where they were about 2 1/2 feet tall and about 7 inches wide. This being The Way is Steepstraight up the whole time. Not flat until you got to the towers where you got a little break. I went about 1/2 a mile which doesn't sound like much at all but when you consider that in that in 1/2 mile I went about 500 feet straight up, steep the whole way, and then had to go back down, it was intense. Mark, Ankit and Kyle decided they wanted to go on farther and then go to this one section called the wild wall where technically you aren't suppose to walk on. I think they missed the sign that said danger, prohibited. Rosemary (who normally doesn't walk where I walked to, she usually just waits back at the open air tram that we took up)and I waited for them. She told them that we would wait and see them in an hour,Posing on the Wall they were back in 15 minutes. She didn't know that Mark and Kyle are avid hikers and that Ankit where go wherever they go. On the way back from the wall Rosemary took us to a Mongolian hotpot restaurant. It was so yummy. I burnt my hand on the hotpot which wasn't so great and later Rosemary bought me some medicine to put on it that smells like Soy Sauce but it helped. We ate tons of food, had our own private room and it came to 28$, for 5 people. The Wall 53$, the food 28$, the Soy Sauce cream for my hand 1.80$. Hanging out with Mark and some friends at the Great Wall, Priceless.

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