Up at 5:30am this morning and traveled by the fast train (35 minutes) to Beijing and visited The Great Wall. It is about 1 hour by bus out of Beijing. Loading buses here is a bit different to Australia. When all the seats were taken the attendant on the bus started to hand out pieces of newspaper so the passengers could sit on the floor or on the steps in the doorways. Bit of a worry.
We went to Badaling which is probably the most popular place to visit the wall. The Wall is very impressive and I actually said "WOW!" when I first caught sight of it winding up and down the mountains.
There is a cable car which travels up to the top of the Wall at Badaling and then you can walk down. UNFORTUNATELY it was not operating the day we were there. Andrew and I walk up for about an hour and we were only half way. All I could see in front of me were more steps so I said enough is enough and we found a track at the side of the wall to come down which was much easier than winding our way through the crowds. Notice the walking stick? It really is a great help.
It was also very misty on the day so I did not get many good photos. I was amazed at the age of the people climbing the wall and even saw an elderly lady in a wheel chair and 3 of her male relatives were carrying her up the steps. It is not all steps, a lot of it is a pathway but it is still very steep. Also the steps are not all uniform in size, some are very short and others were that tall they would have come nearly to my knees so poor Andrew had to help me a little. I was also amazed at the dress of some of the ladies. I saw a few in stockings and HIGH HEELS! Actually on the sightseeing we did I saw many in stockings and high heels.
There were literally thousand of people there that day and most of them nationals. There were 3 cement pits about 20 feet deep and they each held about 3 bears. There were a few dead trees in the pits for the bears to get off the cement but that was all. There were carrot pieces around the wall for the tourists to feed the bears. Both Andrew and I were so disgusted I did not even take photos of it.
I have to say that The Wall is really impressive and is one of the wonder of the world.