The whole second day of touring, Charles, our tour guide, kept going over our itinerary, and whenever he mentioned seeing the Great Wall of China, he would say, "And then, your dreams will finally come true - you will see the Great Wall." He said that, like, five times. It was really cute.
We were going to go to a popular section of the wall, called Badaling, but then our bus driver told Charles that there was horrible, horrible traffic on the freeway. Charles was worried that we wouldn't get to the Great Wall until nightfall, and he wanted us to be able to see it in daylight. So he got permission from his boss to take us to a different section of the wall, a little more toward the east of the Badaling section. I guess it usually costs more to get in to this part, for some reason. But they didn't charge us extra, which is nice.
It still took us a good two hours to get to this section, I'd say. Lots of winding roads. Sadie, Dylan, and I all got carsick and had to move to the front of the bus. We were glad to finally get there.
So, after you get off the bus, you walk up this little path to get to the chairlift that takes you up to the wall. The path was packed with vendors selling their wares:
There's this little area where you wait in line for the chairlift - Ben took some pics of the kids. These pics crack me up:
Here is little Sades:
I adored our time on the wall. It was just amazing.
Look at how tiltey the stairs are - it's not easy walking along:
I so wanted this picture to turn out better so we could send it in our Christmas cards, but Gage wouldn't turn around and face the camera, dang it:
Another amazing photograph by Ben:
Such tiltey stairs:
However, the line to slide was really, really long, and there is no way we would have made it to the bus in time if we had ridden it down. So we had to ride the chairlift down. Sadie was heartbroken. She seriously cried for like an hour. I promised her that, this next summer, we'll go over to Jackson and ride the alpine slide. Poor girl. Life is hard when you're six. :)
It took another two hours to get back into Beijing. We were supposed to visit a silk-painting factory and the Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium thingey, but our time was up. I wasn't heartbroken. Ben had seen the Bird's Nest a couple of weeks before and said it was already crumbling and in disrepair. Which is sad.
So that was that for our touring in Beijing! I seriously had so much fun. I'm convinced that, for a somewhat-finicky American woman, it's better to TOUR in China than to LIVE in China. :) We had such interesting adventures, but boy, are we glad to be home.