Well Rebecca and I went last week on Thursday to see the wall. We were supposed to go to a section called Badaling which was the first open to the public and the most visited section. However it is on the road that will be used for the outdoor cycling next year during the Olympics. So the traffic was insane and our tour operator suggested our group visit the section before it. I don’t know what it is called off the top of my head. This section is in good shape and usually less crowded. I think the traffic is greatly increasing the visitors detouring there from Badaling. It was a very hot day upper 80’s to low 90’s and there were a lot of many steep steps. About 400 in Rebecca’s counting estimation. She made it all the way to the first watch tower I made most of the way but was getting over heated and decided to quit before I pushed too hard and couldn’t get back down. The steps are very steep and uneven. Some are a foot high and some only about an inch high so it is very random. There were a couple spots with platforms on the way up that were flat and we did find small patches of shade. The metal hand rail was almost too hot to touch.
There was also a long line of padlocks with red ribbons on them along the lower part. I was told by our guide that people make a wish lock these on and take the key with them. Then if their wish comes true they are supposed to come back. Maybe next time I will get a lock.
We also went to a Jade factory and the Ming Tombs that day. The Ming Tombs were kind of a let down. The Tomb is still sealed underground and they tell you the general area it is in. While there you see a couple arches and a few artifacts along with a statue but that is really about it. So not much excitement and we only stopped for about 20 minutes there. The wall doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles but it is big and what you expect. Actually it is pretty amazing looking up close.
Next time I will post a bit about the Dongyue Temple where we visited the different departments of hell and rubbed a lucky donkey statue.