Our Yikatong card wasn't working while other people with same card were gaining access. The security personnel were unable to speak English hence we had to purchase the tickets which had cost us 7 yuan per ticket. If the Yikatong had worked it would have cost 6 yuan per ticket. The old person issuing tickets didn't understand English either but we were used to it.
The waiting room inside the Huangtudian railway station was crowded with tourists. It was a small station with basic amenities and just one big hall which acted as the waiting room for the passengers. The next train was set to arrive at 12.40 pm and the journey was supposed to take almost more than an hour. It was still some time to go for the scheduled arrival time of the train but people had already queued up to get the best seats possible. The crowd consisted mostly of Asians which I assume might be mostly Chinese people as they travel a lot. The train was delayed by about 15-20 minutes as the crowd kept piling on and the queue kept on increasing.
Finally the train arrived and a few men in uniforms came to handle the crowd. They didn't open our gates till the entire crowd that alighted had dispersed. As soon as the gates opened people started running towards the coaches like a racing competition; it reminded me of the dash to catch local trains in Mumbai. We too participated in the madness and rushed towards the coaches in the rear end before entering a compartment.
The train took off after some time and it was dead slow. There were a few people selling snacks in the trains reminding about trains back here. I had expected the train to pick up speed after some time which didn't happen. The train looked like a bullet train and was really spacious inside. The seats were comfortable and I laid down on the window seat watching the landscape change from buildings to empty plains.
After the painfully slow journey we had finally reached Badaling. We tried asking people about the buses or cable cars but again the language problem had stuck. We walked down along the crowd while asking people and after 15-20 minutes we reached the entrance.The ticket price was 40 yuan per person and we had two options, either take the north end or the south end of the wall. After walking for some more time we were there and chose the north side.
It was a steep climb, despite of being the easiest route it was still a steep climb, we couldn't imagine what the difficult route would be like. There were uneven steps, some were large steps some were small, there were railings on both sides to help people ascend and descend. Some people were climbing effortlessly while some were panting and gasping for breath.