After the fiasco that was yesterday we decided to ask the concierge where to get tour buses from so we could get to the Wall.
They said they could arrange a taxi for us that would take us there and to the Birds Nest (the Olympic stadium) on the way back. This cost us 800 Yuan in total, but we really wanted to see it so just had to bite the bullet.
Turns out it was the best choice ever! The drive was 2 hours and as we we driven in an air con mini bus I fell asleep, waking momentarily every now and then to take in the sites and the countryside around Beijing.
Turns out that the hotel, rather than take you to Badaling which is super touristy, took us to Mutianyu instead which is at the moment just starting out do is way less busy and really not too touristy just yet-I would definitely recommend going here instead!
Just getting into the wall was hard work! First we got a shuttle bus, then we walked up a step hill towards the cable cars and once at the top we walked up and around to take our first steps onto the wall. I would say, although it’s hard work there were people with walking sticks and people of all fitness levels so don’t be put off, just be prepared to work your bum off! I promise it’s worth it…
Now I’m more of a landscape lover than an architectural lover like Rob, but The Great Wall ticked both boxes. Not only where the views spectacular (awe-inspiring really) but you couldn’t get away from the fact that human beings spent years building this by hand with many millions dying in the process…it’s an incredible example of what people are capable of!
As we continued to walk along the wall we decided to walk up, and I mean up, to one of the highest points we could see…586 steps and a lot of huffing and puffing, not to mention breaks later and we were there, looking out onto the beautiful mountains.
After a nap in the taxi we then arrived at the birds nest. I though we’d just drive past but we drove into the car park and headed up to the stadium.
As we sat looking out st the view from our hotel room for the last time, I still had mixed feelings on Beijing, but definitely felt like I’d conquered it. I’m not sure whether I’d ever travel back here, but I suppose once we arrive in Xi’an tomorrow I’ll have another Chibese city to compare it to.