China – Day 5: The Great Wall

Today we headed to the Great Wall.  We were on the bus at 8:30 again this morning and our first stop on the way out of the city was at a jade factory.  These stops would become my least favorite part of the trip.  The few minutes of introduction about the process they use for whatever we were looking at was interesting but the remainder of the hour or so we had to spend at each place was a waste of time as far as I’m concerned.  I don’t need a shopping trip!

Anyway, once that was over we were back on the bus and continued the drive north to Badaling.  We made the short walk from the bus up to the wall.  We were given about 2 hours to explore the wall before meeting back at a nearby restaurant.  Jack advised one direction up the wall was easier, but that also looked to be more crowded.  Doug and I opted to head up the steeper route and Jerry joined us about half the way to the summit.  We walked up to the fourth tower from which we had a nice view of the surrounding area.  Can’t image how they built this thing way back when.

 After lunch we headed back into the city and made a stop at the Beijing Olympic Park where we saw the Bird’s Nest Stadium and the Water Cube before heading back to the hotel.  We had dinner in the western style, revolving, restaurant at the top of the hotel.  The salmon that I had was really good and the view of the city was spectacular.  Then it was back to the room to pack and get our luggage out the door for our early departure to Xi’an in the morning.


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