China, Part 2

Tips: 1. Badaling seems to be the portion of the Great Wall that a lot of people visit – we chose to go to Mutianyu instead. If you’re super adventurous, you can try to take public transit like d2 did on his first visit. dpr wasn’t up for this ‘challenge’ this time. 2. Traffic and pollution in Beijing are a little nutty – be prepared.

Email diary:
March 11, 2008: Update: Great Wall visited!

Hey Guys:

We visited the Great Wall of China today! I can hardly believe it! We got picked up by our driver this morning and a graduate student from Peking University (this was arranged through my friend, K, who is a professor at U of T- she has a colleague here at Peking University). We were driven to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, and got lost on the way, which actually was nice because we got to drive through a tunnel and the view on the other side of it was amazing- suddenly we were driving along the edge of some mountains. Anyway, we finally got to the Wall, and hiked up to it- there were soooooo many stairs up to it (there was also a cable car, but we decided to stair it instead), and the Wall was spectacular! We walked along it for an hour or so, then back down, which was so much easier, except all of our legs were shaking by the time we got to the bottom. We were at least comforted by hearing that the group of Aussie high school students next to us also had the shakes- it wasn’t just our old legs! I have attached a few pictures from our trip. At the bottom there was a whole marketplace and we treated our grad student guide to a tasty meal of fried rice (SOOOO GOOD) and dumplings (EQUALLY AS YUMMY!). It was very interesting to see the Chinese countryside. Then back to the city so I could pass out for an hour. Tonight we’re heading out for dinner with the grad student’s supervisor, for some more tasty Chinese food.

Tomorrow I think we might go to the Summer Palace and maybe check out some of the Olympic sites. We also found out that Tiannamen Square is off-limits because there’s a very important government meeting here right now.

Ok, will send you another update tomorrow. Enjoy the pictures!

love,
dpr

p.s. the last picture is the entrance to the Forbidden City from our first night here.

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