Great Wall in the Mist
Badaling Travel Blog› entry 7 of 8 › view all entries
In my 15 trip to China, I finally got to see the Great Wall!
Joe insisted that we make an effort to see the Great Wall, since it was his first time to China. So after a huge effort on the phone and online, we were able to book two tickets on a domestic carrier. I think this was the most aggravating experience buying a ticket!
After work on Friday we took a late flight to Beijing from the HongQiao airport. This was my second time in the new Beijing airport and finally the operation is running more smoothly. I forgot to print out the hotel confirmation in Chinese so thankfully my blackberry was working and using the browser, I was able to grab the Chinese name for the driver. The city is quite impressive now and the money spent on improvements makes a huge impact.
Next morning, we took an early breakfast and booked a driver to take us to Badaling, he was quickly to the hotel and we were on the road. Unfortunately the rain started, but we were determined to make the most of the day. The drive from the hotel to Badaling was only a little more than one hour drive. Even with the poor weather, the ticket line was jammed and the wall was full of people. Even in the fog and mist the wall is impressive. It snaked it's way up the mountain and out of sight.
Every time we turned around we would see camera's pointed at us and Joe was even being chased on the wall by a funny couple. In the pic, you can see the guy is grabbing Joes arm while the girl was trying to hold him back. On the descent. we were following by a video crew and we could not lose them for anything, very persistent so we just smiled and laughed and had fun.
We were very hungry after a morning on the wall, but when we came back to the driver, the restaurant was closed because it was 2pm, but they were very nice and opened for us. It was a huge restaurant (Badaling Restaurant), so they only turned the lights on in a small section and we insisted the driver join us. So we sat in this huge mostly dark place and tried to talk to the driver. Hahaha, not easy! And the waitress was also very friendly and joked a lot with us too. They had no rice so she offered us some bread. What is this? I have never had Chinese bread, so yes of course we wanted bread. It came to the table very hot and was delicious. The pieces were small, and slightly sweet. That was a new experience.
On the return to Beijing we asked the driver to take us to the Ming Tombs. We only just had enough time to see it as they were about to close. The architecture is very nice. The main hall is a muesem with Ming artifacts that were found at the site. The robes and crowns are very detailed and original. Also in the collection were goldware, weapons, and body armour. The tomb itself is entered from the base of a hill by ascending a ramp up into the structure of the tomb. There were many guards on the tomb taking pictures of us...for security purposes??? Haha.