Great Wall at Jinshanling Pick up at 08:00 and drive to Jinshanling (2-2.5 hours), the most original and challenging part of the Great Wall....
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GREAT WALL OF CHINA
A coach picked us next morning from the hostel at 8:30 AM lead by a lovely guide dressed in shocking pink, Monica. Mutianyu is about 90-minute drive from Beijing city and on the way we were briefed on various historical facts about the wall. At some point of time in history every fifth person in China was involved in building the wall to safeguard the Chinese empire from Manchurian and Mongolians. As someone has very rightly put it in the past what was built to keep people away is now a medium to bring people from all over the world together as they want to visit something so magnificent. Mutianyu section is about 2.5 km long and has 22 towers. You could reach on the top by cable cars or if feeling athletic can take a 20-minute hike and save ¥40 for one-way cable car trip. I decided to skip the cable car and started my journey to the great wall on foot with two fellow Belgian boys. After sweating in temperature of 36 degrees with high humidity I reached the top (don’t ask me when was the last time I was in gym). From here you can either turn right of the wall which is in more in its original form with some six towers on steep curves of the hills or turn left which is largely restored and evenly slopped. I headed right, easier side first,walked up to fourteenth tower and turned back to get to more historic sections. The climb here was really stiff with knee high steps. Miley Cyrus blaring loudly in my ears “I wanna fly, I wanna drive, I wanna go… I wanna be a part of something I don’t know… And if you try to hold me back I might explode” with Can’t Be Tamed kept pushing me. What Chairman Mao has quoted time and again is debatable but when he said “He who has not climbed the Great Wall is not a true man” there are absolutely no two ways. Every time that whiff of air hit you in the dense forests surroundings the wall it reminded how soothing it would have been for guards protecting their dynasties in most extreme living conditions. Slopping down the mountains on wheeled toboggan ride down from the wall was awesome. It’s like being on a roller coaster with absolutely no external controls, you decide the speed and you be your own complete master. After all that exercise I was damn hungry and Monica had arranged for a very authentic Chinese meal experience. It was group of ten eclectic people being served ten different Chinese dishes to be shared. I found sharing food Chinese tradition more intimate experience than cold distant Western culture of sticking with what you ordered and your plate! We were back at hostel by early evening. After resting for a while stepped out for dinner and had the most delicious tofu dish at a local restaurant.Day 07: When Floaters Meets Stiletto