Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Aug 16th – Great wall & some touring around.

Today we had our first bit of sightseeing, and what a day it was. We ended up taking a 2 hour bus ride to an area where no tourists go and where we could see the original wall, meaning not the new one that everyone sees when they see pictures of the great wall. We actually kinda did two things today, first off, we ended up going to the wrong place to begin with which ended up being not that big of a deal, it just took us 1hr of walking to figure out that we were in a park and not where we were supposed to be. We actually got too see some pretty neat stuff in the park including a 66m waterfall, and we actually climbed up the face of the cliff, right alongside the water fall which was really neat, even though the steps were pretty sketchy. The stairs were actually nailed in to the face of the cliff, which for me was kinda scary because well I’m scared of heights.

Anyways after we figured out we were in the wrong place we turned around and went back to our cars – took a 10min drive over to the proper spot and started our 4 hour hike, yes I said 4 hrs lol. This was defiantly a cool Hike up the mountain side! We couldn’t climb the actual wall because its covered in grass and plants, this is the original wall, but there was a path up this side of this mountain that we walked on which was right beside the wall. It was an experience that will last a life time, I don’t even know how to explain the entire day but, we ended up climbing in to some of the watch towers where the guards and soldiers lived and where they were stationed to protect the wall and to stop any of the Mongolians from getting into their country. Oh ya this was a neat fact we read about in a little book, the people who were stationed at those check points or look out points had to stay there for their entire lives!! Meaning that was their house for life – they didn’t leave, Crazy!

After having a crazy walk up the hill we finally got to the top and had something to eat, looked around a bit and then headed back. The lookout was amazing though and you could see everything. If you see my dad ask him about the hike up the hill :P, he was dying a little bit! Anyways so once we got back to the van everyone was pretty dead from the long day we had so we all ended up passing out on the ride home. Once back to the dorms we showered up and decided to head out to the bar district for a couple of beers, and a relaxed night. That couple beers and relaxed night turned into going to a club and not finding our way home till 6am, which was pretty much a normal night over here in china. It was actually just Frazer and I who went out but we ended up running into the fencers from the Canadian team, so we partied with them for the night. I also actually met some people who went to school in Kingston and are now living here in china teaching at some schools, the neat thing about that is they actually went to university with one of my friends from Perth. How crazy is that - small world!!

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