Sunday, 21 October 2012
Day 569: Great Wall of China
We really didn't want to go to the main touristy section of the great wall. We wanted something more isolated where we could do some proper hiking. Our hostel offered a tour to Jinshanling, so that's where we ended up. It's about a 3-hour ride from Beijing but it was well worth it. We had a gloomy kind of day, so perhaps not ideal for photos but it real life, it just made the left over autumn colours stand out more. For once, in China we are not in a big crowd, though some of the locals certainly still make a point of following the few tourists around. Otherwise, it really made me think of the scene in Mulan (which I've watched with Antonia a whole lot of times), just before the Mongols raid the wall. We could have done with an extra hour there, or even staying in the hotel at the base and hiking all day, but that would have taken a lot more organisation and prior research. Anyway we probably walked 5 or 6 km along the wall then back again.
Only fly in the ointment: the included buffet lunch was almost laughably bad - and I've had a few, even in China so I do know. It was as though they really wanted you to feel you had to order something extra off their menu to make a real meal, but we didn't even have time for that.