Day one actually started at a place called the Temple of Heaven, right in Beijing Proper. I know I took pictures there, but I don't seem to be able to find them right now. So we'll move on to the Great Wall. Stop One was Temple of Heaven. Stop 2 was the Ming Tombs. Then we went to the Great Wall. As you can see from the pictures (which are not in order, sorry) it was very cold and windy. Berenice sat that one out in the bus and the rest of us hiked up it a bit. We had close to an hour there, maybe an hour and a half. And we are running on 2 hours of sleep/rest from the long travel to get there. We were on the road/in the air for about 50 hours we figured. Between flight delays and just long distances, it was an exhausting trip just to get there! Very.
The first picture is kind of funny to me. There was a big group of Indian or Pakistani fellows who were all dancing and singing around on the top of this guard house. They were so friendly and talkative as I passed them on my way down. So many tourists, and it's not even the peak season!
But I sure never thought I'd see myself hiking up the Great Wall of China. Above is a view of one of the towers/gates/buildings that we walked up to, around and back down. I didn't realize until after that we could have turned right and gone up the other side. You can see the wall heading off in one direction that way. Don't ask me what direction. I have no idea.
There were lots of buildings in this particular gate area. Whole settlements were here, providing the great number of guards, they brought their families, so it was populated--schools, temples, etc. And now there is bus parking and restrooms and tourist gift shops, too.
A camel was walking by down below us. Just kind of random.
Another tourist had dressed up in some "Mulan" type costume for picture taking. There were many tourists, but can you imagine how busy and crowded it is on a warm summer day? Wow. Masses, I'm sure. China is really pushing tourism these days to select spots and this is one hot spot here. Many of the tourists are Chinese and many more are from other oriental countries.
This is two members of our small group of SEVEN! That's right. Only 7 in our tour group. So small and comfortable and they helped keep a slower pace and watch out for Berenice.
Looking through one of the tower windows.