The Cable Car
It was 6.00am when we had to get up. The trip to the wall took about 2 hours. We went to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. The way up was by cable car, from there on we could go up the wall and start walking. It was a beautiful sight. Not as green as i remember in July, but with the mountains full of the first green and a lot of blossoms. The view is indescribable. The Wall, so huge, still standing as a sort of stone snake throughout the landscape. One of the biggest building projects ever, and has the right to be called one of the seven World Wonders. It was a bit windy up there, but with the sun it was good weather overall. Even though it wasn't really steep, it was still a pretty tough climb up in some places. But i was glad i didn't have to walk the entire way up.
We got an hour and a half to just walk over the Wall. It was nice and quiet, because we were so early not many people were on it yet. It was the opposite when we came back, there were quite a few people entering.
First we had a quick lunch and a state visit to one of the pearl factories in Beijing. We got an explanation about the making and harvesting of pearls, and how you can recognize real from fake ones. Of course we could take a look in the shop as well.
At the Summer Palace the weather began to change and the wind suddenly turned a lot stronger. The place was still beautiful and not too crowded either. It was build by command of Ci Xi, Emperor TongZhi's mother, with money that was supposed to be used for the navy. Longevity Hill is one of the most famous places.
The Marble Boat
The hill was constructed by the the soil that was excavated when digging Kunming Lake. About 3/4 of the Summer Palace is water. We walked through several gardens and saw the view over Kunming Lake, with the Buddhist Temple build on the mountain slope, but just for a bit because the wind was blowing hard and cold and everyone seemed to be freezing on the spot. We walked through the Long Corridor, passed Suzhou Street and the Marble Boat. Still all pretty to see, even though everything was just blooming and not entirely green yet.
In the evening we had the famous Beijing Duck. It was delicious, even though the explanation of how to make it properly wasn't really good. But it still tasted very yummy. The other dishes were very nice too, but nothing could be compared to Beijing Duck.