Blog #248 I talked about when we meet up with Bing before we take some R&R. In this blog I want to talk about the Great Wall experience in Beijing.
Charles and I decided to experience China like some others did when they came out. We were always focused on work so much we missed out on some of the cool things China had to offer. It was a given we would start with the Great Wall and then the Forbidden Palace.
This time of year, a jacket was necessary, so I didn’t bring one for the trip. The person at the hotel desk suggested one because he said it got quite cold at the top of the wall. They gave me an extra the security guards wore but it was like wearing something 5 times too small. I decided to go to a mall before we headed out. Same thing my size was not to be found. I did find a long sleeve active shirt that would be better than nothing. The size was a 4XL which was still a little small but good enough, just in case.
Along the trip our driver got into an accident. All my years of traveling in China I’ve never been in an accident. I’ve seen people drive on the wrong side of the road too! One guy even told me it was faster lol. The two drivers talked for about 30 minutes back and forth and then finally got back in their cars. I asked the driver what was going on and he said it was better if drivers negotiated a fair price on the repair instead of going through government red tape.
The weather was actually hot when we got there and as we hiked up the wall it was getting increasingly hotter. My long sleeve was soon peeled off and put in my backpack and I ended up just wearing a tank top. Along the way up there was an older guy dressed up like an Ancient Chinese warrior and asked for a few bucks to take a picture with him. We took a few pictures and continued our journey up. Linda and I took a few kissing pictures on the wall once we got there so Charles wanted a picture of him “smoking”on the wall. It was a pretty strenuous hike and we were all a little sweaty once we made it to the top.
Once up there it was amazing. The view was spectacular. I decided to call my dad from the top. He thought it was cool that I could talk to him from there and said he probably would never experience that. It was breathtaking. You could see for miles and just the site of the great wall going on and on for miles was just an incredible sight to see.
The Great Wall has a lot of history. Most people think the wall was to keep the Monguls out but there is more to it than that. I pulled some of the following information from Wikipedia:
Several walls were built from as early as the 7th century BC, The best-known sections of the wall were built by the Ming Dynasty in 1368. Apart from defense, other purposes of the Great Wall have included border control, allowing the imposition of duties on goods transported along the silk road, regulation or encouragement of trade and the control of immigration and emigration.
Furthermore, the defensive characteristics of the Great Wall were enhanced by the construction of watchtowers, troop barracks, garrison stations, signaling capabilities through the means of smoke or fire, and the fact that the path of the Great Wall also served as a transportation corridor. More info at this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Wall_of_China.
It was pretty amazing to think how they built these massive structures back in those times. It was still solid too. I’m sure there were parts of the wall that didn’t stand the test of time but where we were, it was quite amazing. Definitely a bucket list experience.
We spent most of the afternoon there and decided to head back around midday. To get down, there was a “Sled Station”. There were slides you would ride the sled down and they twisted and turned to suit the terrain. It wasn’t scary but you went pretty fast on the way down. Next on the agenda we would see the Forbidden City, but we would go see this and more the next day.This would also take a good part of a day and we wanted to take it all in.
Our plan for dinner was to find authentic Peking Duck. We went into an area that had many different restaurants and asked around for the best peking Duck. With the help of my electronic translator we did okay. Sure could have used Richard right about now. We found the place and sat down for dinner. It was delicious. We found out that the way its served is just a little bit of the actual meat and mostly skin.
The whole duck would be rolled out on a cart and the chef would slice the meat/skin in front of us. There would be thin pancakes to roll the duck into and top it off with a sweet bean sauce. The skin was crispy and was seasoned as well. There were also a variety of veggies you could roll into the pancake to offer different ways of eating it. The person who recommended this place was spot on. It was the best I ever had.
SIZES... SIZES... SIZES... SIZES...
…just sharing my story and tips from my footwear career.
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