Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, More Beijing.

This morning we were picked up by Beijing Joe for our trip to the Great Wall! We had a brief photo op near the Olympic village and then were driven through some beautiful orchards to the Ming Tombs. 

The Ming Tombs, or the Underground Palace, were a bit disappointing. Brett describes it as more of a Ming “bunker”. The walls and floor had been refinished to feel like a warehouse and there wasn’t really much to see inside. Despite this, I was really impressed by the view from outside the structure. All you could see for miles was the tops of trees and misty mountains. Gorgeous. 

We spent the afternoon at the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall and it was so beautiful! Badaling is the more tourist-friendly than Mutianyu and I can see why. You have to climb a hill and a bunch of stairs just to get to the cable car to take you up to the wall. We asked Joe if it would be a good idea to walk up to the wall but he said it was a 50 minute switchback hike and we were under a time crunch. The Great Wall was very cool, it’s just too bad we happened to go on a very windy and rainy day! 
After the Great Wall we were driven back through some small villages and quiet countryside to the city to catch an acrobatics show! We were both really impressed by all the crazy-talented acrobats (and by the vending machines full of cold beer!).

Bird's Nest & Aquatics Centre
Ming Tombs Gardens
Ming Tombs Gardens
Lunch before the Great Wall
Cable car up to Tower 18.
Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall
The Great Wall

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