Day 3 of my trip to China included a visit to The Great Wall of China, one of the reasons for my trip.
We had an early start this morning, with a 6:30 am alarm call, which I missed as I was already in the shower. Breakfast was a buffet breakfast with both English & Chinese items. I loved the waffles with fruit, whipped cream, honey & cinnamon sugar, but forced myself to try a full English, an omelette & several glasses of orange juice. At 8:00 am we all boarded the coach for our day, the first port of call would be the Great Wall of China, before taking a rickshaw tour of the old part of Beijing.
The Great Wall of China.
The part of the Great Wall that we visited was at Mutianyu & was around a 1½-hour drive from the hotel. On arrival, we parked in a car park & walked a short but very steep walk through market stalls to the chairlift to be taken to the top of the Great Wall. The chairlift took us up quickly & smoothly & we were soon stood on top of the Great Wall, the views were amazing.
In small groups we set off walking, some of the group set off at a great pace trying to reach the furthest point in the short time we had. After walking to the first tower I realised how steep the steps here were & descended the steep first set of steps on my bum, so as to not risk missing a step & breaking my neck. After the first descent, the steps were a lot easier & with Tracy & Mel, I managed to walk to the third tower, stopping at different points for photos.
On getting back down from the third tower we were met by Michael, who we waited for whilst he ascended to the tower for the view. We walked back passing through the second tower & bought a couple of beers from a seller at the top of the wall. We posed for a few photos, returned to the tower we started at & proceeded to the other side of the wall just to say that we had climbed both sides.
After the return journey in the cable car, the whole group met up in a Subway, had a sandwich & then returned to the coach for the trip back to Beijing.
Rickshaw tour of Beijing Hutongs.
On our return to Beijing, the majority of the group continued to the older part of the town, The Hutongs, & took a Rickshaw tour around the old district of Beijing. We were soon at a house that the family that lived there showed round to nosey tourists like ourselves. It was very basic but very nice, each room belonging to a different part of the family or being shared by others. The family that lived here even rented a room out to tourists we were told.
We were soon outside taking a short walk through this district before meeting up with our Rickshaw for a ride back to our coach. On our walk, I turned a corner to come face to face with a fellow Gooner. This Chinese Gooner who didn't speak a word of English was soon posing with me for a photo as I too was wearing my Arsenal shirt. After this quick photo opportunity, we continued to where we were to meet our rickshaw drivers.
Trouble was afoot though & whilst the rest of the group's rickshaw drivers turned up & transported them back to the coach, the driver for myself & Michael had gone AWOL. He did turn up but with a full load & went as quick as he came. After the rickshaw conglomerate owner made some calls a new rickshaw was soon made available to us & we were soon chasing down the rest of the group & after a few near misses, we were soon on the coach & on our way back to the hotel.
Dinner was in the hotel restaurant & was served on a Lazy Susan. The food was served & we all laid claim to whichever parts of it we fancied.
It soon became clear that the drinks in the hotel bar were expensive, so a group of explorers, headed by Judith was sent out in search of lower-priced drinks. Judith soon came back with cheap beer & a full report on how to locate cheap alcohol, Judith had found her calling & was made head of alcohol acquisition.