Saturday, October 1, 2016

Beijing - Wednesday - The Great Wall

Ah….Wednesday has arrived….the entire reason for our trip to Beijing. Let me preface this post by saying that I have anxiety. Specifically travelers’ anxiety. More specifically travelers’ bathroom anxiety. I am a nervous wreck on car trips, plane trips, bus trips, pretty much anything that involves leaving New Day. I know, you’re shocked, right?! Me, the girl who LOVES vacations and seeing the world! I just like to know where a bathroom is at all times. And that I can use it. Whenever I want. And that my plane is not going to crash. It’s my thorn. So, I was a little nervous about this day. I mean, I had already survived 2 taxi rides, 3 plane rides, and a handful of subway trips, and I was doing great. But for the Great Wall trip, we were taking four count them FOUR various forms of transportation. First, private car rental for our trip to the wall - 90 minutes there. Then, a shuttle bus to the bottom of the wall. Then, a cableway car up to the Wall. Then, a toboggan slide down the wall. And after all of that, the 90 minute drive back. I was a complete nervous wreck!

So this is my "I'm having a good hair day but I can't eat anything because I'm too nervous about all of the travel today" look...

Us in the rental car

I survived. I did have to go to the bathroom after about an hour in the car. We assumed our driver would at least know the English word for “bathroom.” Nope. “Toilet?” Nope. “Stop!” He smiled big at that one and said “Oh stop!” He then proceeded to make the motion of spraying a water hose. And thus, we both learned the Chinese sign language for “use the bathroom.”

On the shuttle bus to the wall! (transportation #2 of the day...)

We absolutely loved our day at the Great Wall. We chose to visit the Mutianyiu Section as opposed to Badaling. Badaling is closer to Beijing and more touristy, while Mutianyiu is more conducive to hiking and has more forest coverage for better viewing (and a toboggan slide down - who can resist that?!) We spent 3 hours on the Wall climbing, and climbing, and climbing. It was absolutely incredible and a day we will never forget!

Ready to go! You didn't really think I'd climb the Great Wall without my Spark, did you??

Up we go! Blu REALLY does not like heights...

But I made him smile normal for one picture!

So apparently a movie was filmed in this very spot! A random Chinese movie I'd never heard of. The SEQUEL to a random Chinese movie I'd never heard of...

We could not stop taking pictures!

This section of the Wall has 23 watch towers to explore!

They had a "graffiti" place set up to sign the Wall!
The scenery from the top was gorgeous!

(See what I mean about the selfie stick coming in handy???)

And these were our faces when we saw how much further we still had to climb!

These are the toboggan slides that we used to get down - so fun!

Nothing like a little American food to reward yourself for climbing the Great Wall of China!

The ride back to Beijing...

For supper that night, we decided to walk down to a street near our hotel and get some local food. We asked if there was an English menu, but they just motioned for us to point at the pictures. Using our handy translating tool, we made it clear (we thought…) that we wanted to order chicken. So we ordered a couple of things, with all of us giggling (and every other Chinese person in the restaurant staring at us….) A few minutes later, they start bringing out food..and more food…a huge bowl of some kind of seafood soup…some beef dish of some kind (chicken, anyone?!)…we could NOT stop laughing. Tears were rolling down our cheeks! Then, the lady kept coming to our table with a huge smile on her face yelling “Hoo-wuh!” We have no idea what this means, or why she kept saying it, but she was obviously very excited. It was HILARIOUS.

Blu's new friend - Hoo-wuh!

I could NOT keep a straight face!


We conquered the Great Wall! Two days to go!

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