I have wanted to visit the Great Wall since we got here… I would have gone on the first day if I had the chance. It was the number one thing I wanted to check out. I guess that somehow, I thought that I’d be able to see it from everywhere… like, I had a total misconception that it was just right around town or something. I didn’t think about how it goes mile and miles along the tippy tippy tops of the mountains. So I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t see it out my window! So, we woke up to an absolutely beautiful Sunday, and decided to head for the hills. We didn’t have church b/c of conf. (delayed a week). After much deliberation, we decided on a section of the wall, and headed out. it took about 1 ½ hours to get there. Everyone made it sound like it was a long ways away. So we packed some PB&J’s and waters. I really had no idea what to expect. SO we got there, and paid for the chair lift up to it… I mean, it’s up at the top of the mountain, like a ski resort. Then there is a slide coming down, I am sure the Ming Emperor would die if he saw people riding down the hill! The entrance to the chair lift had these 15’ golden lions set up guarding the entrance! Kinda cheesy.. (a guy coming down the hill behind us w/ a couple people- I could tell they were from AU or England from the accent, and someone in his group was taking a photo of the big blow up gold lions, and he was like, “it’s a bit dodgey”… made me laugh, had to agree”.
Anyway..i am thinking about all the things that were going through my head, and I am not sure I can really convey how I was feeling standing with my family on THE GREAT WALL of CHINA…. So I will switch to the bullet point method
1. I took a bunch of photos, and there were so many I put them in an album that you can look through. I think it’s hard to focus on photography with a baby in a front pack, and 4 other kids to keep an eye on and panic when they get too close to any edge, or are running full speed down these steep flights of stairs.
2. If the Great Wall of CHINA was in the US, there would be tons of guard rails and plexi glass inserts to prevent people from falling to their death very easily… and surely there would be people or signs telling you not to climb up where there is a 500 foot drop off the other side. But not in China. The kids were like monkeys.
3. The wall went as far as the eye could see… I mean, you would look in the distance, and see the occasional guard tower, sticking out. and the terrain is UNREAL. And where did all the stone come from? And plans… did they draw up plans? I am SO intrigued by the whole thing. I am going to start doing research to learn more about it. it’s so beautiful there.
4. The kids were running CIRCLES around the adults climbing up and down the wall. First, I was a little nervous with Connor on me, cause I couldn’t see my feet. SO I was being very cautious. The kids were not about caution. In some places, it was so steep, you were sort of crawling up. And going up, you were actually more worried about whether or not you’d make it down.
5. I was wondering how many languages were being spoken on the wall that day. We met and saw people from ALL OVER the world.
6. It felt weird to not be a tourist… I mean… we’re totally LOCALS! Its sooo nice to just leisurely go and see the wall, and come home. Not trying to cram in ALL the Beijing sites into just a few days. It’s so great to be here long enough to check out the culture and the history and make friends etc. so cool.
7. The day was totally perfect. Perfect temps. Not too many people…. And my kids were so happy and excited to go. Don’t you just love happy kids.
8. We totally had a blast. I can honestly say, that I had FUN!! I climbed to the very top guard tower…although if it hadn’t been for quincy, I would have pooped out. but quincy won’t let any one quit. I think she may grow up to be a personal trainer.
9. I am planning on running the Great Wall marathon (prob. The 1/2marathon)… it was an eyeopener. It will be so hard. I can’t get over the ups and downs.
10. Capri is in the stair climbing stage. She loves it! she climbed and climbed stairs. It was so cute.
11. i never thought that i would be excited over dried fruit and nuts for a treat… but there were many vendors at the bottom, selling all kinds of stuff… but this was YUMMMY! we got sweet walnuts, roasted almonds-and they are small! dried strawberries and cherries. SO YUMMY! i had never had strawberries and Colton could do the orange.?
We all slept really good that night. We spent about 3 hours running around. Great day! For sure.