our first glimpse of the wall through the fog. I was like a little kid on Christmas morning!
Today was the day I had been waiting for…we were going to see the Great Wall of China. I will be completely honest in saying my expectations for this wall were VERY high, and I was not prepared to be disappointed. Thankfully, I was not. The wall was even more magnificent in person. We had a smoggy (foggy) day and I do not think the pictures do it justice. We were very lucky in that we went to a less visited part of the wall. There was NO ONE THERE! Okay, but first things first…we went to the Ming Tomb.
just hanging with my elephant friend
In comparison to yesterday, all of our stops today were very calm, no one seemed to be visiting these places and that was fine with me! The Ming’s Tomb is a very beautiful and peaceful place. My favorite part was the long walk of statues. Willow trees lined the walk along with giant statues of warriors and animals.
the beautiful walkway with only our group
Okay…now for the Great Wall! We drove about an hour out of town to visit a less visited section of the wall. We walked through a small village full of people trying to sell you things (another common trend in China). While our guide Sunny went to buy the gondola tickets, I was placed in charge of carrying the VERY important group flag…I think I should be a tour guide in my next life…I rocked at it. (haha)
if this doesn’t scream tourist, I am not sure what does
We piled into a gondola and up we went. It was so exciting when the clouds started to clear and we were greeted with the first glimpse of the the wall. As I mentioned earlier…it was AMAZING. We were able to hike along the wall if we wanted. Mom and I joined up with a family on the trip and hiked to the end.
The last stretch was INSANELY STEEP and very challenging. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it…but I am so glad I did! This section ends on the border of China and Mongolia (I technically snuck my foot into Mongolia, so I can check that off my list). Going back down was the scariest, my entire body was shaking (I am not a fan of heights) but the view was incredible.
peaking my head up at the very top!
I told you insanely steep!
When we finally reached the bottom of the gondola we were all exhausted…and thirsty! OF course there just happened to be a Subway right there, and thankfully they had Gatorade! Today was hands down one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It is going to be very hard to beat the feeling you get standing a top the Great Wall of China with no one else in sight!
Oh and did I mention our night ended with a Mongolian dinner in a traditional yurt…complete with an intense techno song and dance. Only fitting given I snuck into their country today. And I will leave you with one last picture of The Great Wall of China, because how am I supposed to pick just a few?