Thursday, May 1, 2014

Beijing- The Great Wall {day 2- journey to Ruby Mei}

Today was our first day of touring Beijing with our awesome guide David.  First on the agenda was The Great Wall.  We found out from him in the morning that it was a holiday- May Day/Labor Day in China and so the traffic will be pretty bad.  Just our luck to sightsee in a city of 20-some million people on a national holiday- ha!  It ended up taking over 3 hours to drive to the Wall but it was well worth it!

 It was pretty smoggy as you can see.  We have never experienced smog before and when we got outside at the airport last night I asked- what is that???  It was like weird heavy dark air.
Here we go!  Starting the LONG trek up the wall!  Can you believe I wore flip-flops??  What was I thinking?  And a long dress to boot.  Classic Missy, right?

All I have to say is that it was surreal to actually stand on top of The Great Wall of China.  I mean, who gets to do that?!?!  Well, obviously a LOT of Chinese people do but not a lot of Americans.  It was so cool and amazing and... exhausting- ha!  I was left in the dust(literally) and had to take a "little break".  I really did not intend to keep going but as I leaned on the rail being stared at a lot I noticed an old man- probably in his 80s- wearing a lot of warm clothes(it was pretty hot out), carrying a huge backpack, and not breathing like he was taking his last breaths on earth(like I was) - walk right past me and keep climbing I thought wait a minute.  I couldn't come all the way to Beijing and not go all the way to the top so I crawled my way to the next tower and found the rest of my family- boy were they shocked!

These cut outs in the wall were where the guns went in to shoot invaders.
Mary Beth spotted all these locks and asked why they were there.  David explained that they symbolized eternal love.  Mary Beth liked that. :)

 Here's the sun behind the smog.  Crazy-huh?
Starting the ascent to the bottom- also tricky with flip flops by the way.
Next post is on the Summer Palace... stay tuned!
What a day!  We love China already.

PS:  If you want to learn more about The Great Wall go here.
PSS:  About 12 years ago I pointed to a huge picture of the G.W. hanging at a Chinese restaurant and asked my sisters and John what "that long wall was".  True story.  Look at me now girls!!

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