Saturday, February 4, 2017

Staycation-The Great Wall of China

As we've said, it's easy to get from Tianjin to Beijing. With this week off, we decided to spend a few days up the road in Beijing. Jim has been to the Great Wall of China so many times, but the kids and I had never been. We were so excited! Jim contacted his guy and that guy set us up with our tour guide, Matthew. Matthew picked us up in a nice van and we were off. From the city, it's about a 2 hour drive to the Wall at Mutianyu (Badaling is closer, but more crowded). It was very, very cold outside but on the upside, the sky was completely clear.
Not as cold now with these new fuzzy hats
There are 3 options for getting up and down to the actual Great Wall: hiking, cable car or chairlift up and slide down (like an alpine slide). We took the cable car both ways (too cold for the slide, and hiking would take about an hour just to get to The Wall).

The trip exceeded expectations. Once we got on the wall, we started walking. There are several towers along the way. Some parts are hilly, and some are intensely steep. It was challenging at times, but just so interesting. We tried to hike to the top, but once we were there, Matthew pointed out that there one never really reaches the top here-more will keep appearing for miles. So we chose a reasonable time to turn around and go back.












Matthew said he gives tours to a lot of teachers at the International School of Beijing when they have family in town. On the way back from The Great Wall, he said that when the teachers tour with their families and friends, they always ask him to sing his army songs. He asked if we wanted to hear some. We said yes, but he was hesitant at first because August was sleeping and he said it is very loud and he was worried it would scare August. We said he'd be fine. It was loud! He did wake August, but he was fine. 

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