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Summer Vacation on Mutianyu Great Wall

Without visiting the Great Wall is as if you were not visit China. Tours usually get to go to the Badaling section of the Great Wall and they even take you to the Ming Tombs on the way so kind of understand the package deal people take. However we prefer to the private tour to Mutianyu Great Wall far away from the downtown with less tourists. Yes, we made a right choice. Here we did not see any groups of tourists organized by the travel agencies. Though nearly 3 hours driving, it worthwhile!

Cable Car on Mutianyu

We took the cable car to the Great Wall and started out at around watchtower 14 and our goal was to get to the tower 1, as these Watchtowers are high up the mountain that will give us the best view.  We walked and walked and walked, amazed by the scenery. We made tons of jokes, and took some fun pictures as well. Tons and tons and tons of steep steps to climb… what a challenge! Breathing extremely hard, in and out, I almost didn't make it to the terminal. Getting up from Tower 2 to 1 in 1 shot with no break was a huge accomplishment in my eyes, as I really had to push myself. By the time we got to Tower 2, I was really struggling and completely cursing my skinny little legs! We had to stop every 10 steps to catch our breath, but we eventually made it up. We had to physically crawl up the final 10 steps which were huge and almost vertical. It was comforting seeing the other people around us struggling as much! Standing on the top of Tower 1, we took in the amazing 360 degree view, caught our breath and patted ourselves on the backs for making it. This had been a dream of mine for several years...and I had made it come true now. So inspired to live my best life I cannot really convey the excellent feelings accurately in words. Only my heart knew, glowed warmly within me. I tried to be in the moment as much as I could...just living now and savoring the excellent experience.

Grand View on Mutianyu

You can imagine smiles at our faces as we walked the 3 km up and down the wall, admiring views on the way and generally enjoying this masterpiece of defense architecture. We aimed to stay till the sun set to get the real feel of it.

Temple of Heaven - must see in Beijing

Sadly, it was time to leave China. The Beijing airport is huge, clean, modern. Yeaterday I was picked up from the airport by the tour guide for my tour, today I will leave Beijing. Time is flying!

But we had a very good stay in Beijing. We went to see the Temple of heaven which is an old temple that the people of Beijing used to pray for good harvests. It is in a large walled park garden area just south of the center of Beijing. The main worshipping area consists of Three structures each is more impressive than the last with the second two having temple built on top.

We were witness to hundreds of Beijing locals, mostly in there 50's and 60's practicing all manor of exercise regimes from Tai Chi, Kung Fu, jogging, bat and ball, dancing - traditional Chinese (I presume) to ball room. I kid you not. I felt very unfit in there presence. The whole ambiance of the park and the people in it was fantastic and very calming and peaceful.

After lunch, we went to the summer palace, the tour driver was so skillful and we felt very comfortable on the car. The tour guide accompanied us all the way and explained the sightseeing to us. She told us history and legends about the summer palace. We all felt very pleased about this tour.

Today we went to the great wall, it was so splendid. We walked to the top and we did not use the cable car, as you know we are 53 years old. Hah, we are heros, our tour guide said!

I will come back to have another fresh look in the future!

Impressive Great Wall Hiking

Prepare for China tour for a long time, we decided the beautiful Beijing, the capital city as our first destination. Since Beijing is so rich in tourism resources so our tour in Beijing is full of entertainment.

Mutianyu Great Wall

Time flies, this is our last day in Beijing and we had an early start in the morning as we had organized a trip to the Great Wall of China. We didn't join the great wall at the usual tourist spot like Badaling, instead joining it at Mutianyu, high in the mountains. It was a brilliant sight. We had to get a cable car up the Lookout Tower form which we would start our walk. It provided stunning views and we decided to go with 23 watch towers which would take approximately 3 hours. I had learnt that Mutianyu section of the Great Wall was originally built during the Northern Qi Dynasty in the mid-sixth century, used to serve as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs during the Ming Dynasty.

The Wall itself was harder to walk on than I had imagined. The Wall has been preserved very well, with all of the original bricks, however this makes walking along it somewhat harder! The steps are very steep and very small, never straight. The watch towers were raised so we were constantly climbing up to them before climbing back down the other side.

Now we had been walking, up and down steps and slopes for over an hour and my legs were starting to ache. We had to stop numerous times to regain our breath. Finally we got to the top watch tower. Standing by the flag at the top of Tower 23, we took in the amazing 360 degree view and caught our breath. Although I was completely exhausted, the amazing feeling of reaching the Tower made it all worth it!

Although the half day tour is short, it made me thought provoking about life. The climb was the most physically and mentally challenging thing I think I have ever done. I'm pleased that we made it. It provided an overwhelming sense of achievement and is something I will never forget. I really enjoy a wonderful trip in Beijing!

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