Thursday, June 5, 2014

China Trip Day 2 - The Great Wall & Olympic Park

Today we got up early for a three hour drive to The Great Wall.  We ate lunch when we got there, went to a really cool paper cutting shop, and used the bathroom which was the grossest thing of my life.  I couldn't even breath!


We started hiking and it was so gorgeous.  It was about to rain, so the colors were amazing!







I had my first run in with a giant bug.  This centipede was so gigantic!  But you can't even tell in the picture...


It started raining, so Kylee and I invested in some low-quality ponchos that our tour guide was selling.  I ripped mine the first time I put it on, but it was still worth it to protect my camera!


We hiked for quite a while in the rain, and it was just absolutely amazing.  And freezing cold!  But it was cool to think of how long ago it was built.  Living in Utah, I rarely see anything that's even 200 years old.  The Great Wall is much older than that!


It looks like it goes on forever!



We hiked 45 minutes in, then it started really coming down.  Like, hard!  So we waited out the storm a little bit in a watch tower before the adults decided that it was best to go back the way we came.



I ran part of the way back, just for fun!  And because now I can say that I've gone on a run on The Great Wall - how cool is that?!

We then went on a long, wet ride to another part of the wall.  I was so cold, I didn't really want to get out of the bus, but I'm really glad that I did!  I put back on my cheap poncho, now ripped in half, and decided that it was best to leave my camera on the bus which is really sad but probably the best move.

We were in the clouds while on that part of the wall, we were up so high.  I think that second part of the wall was even more amazing than the first, so it is kind of a shame that I don't have pictures to remember it by.  But I won't ever forget the view while hiking along the wall and turning around and seeing it stretch out as far as I could see.  The forest was below me, and the rain was so gorgeous.  It is a moment that I've locked in my brain, it was so magical feeling!

I'm so glad that we went to the ruins where nobody else was instead of the reconstructed, touristy places.  It was kind of dangerous, though, we were walking on super steep staircases, slippery loose rocks, and such narrow paths in some parts where if you didn't pay attention to where you were placing your feet you could easily fall a hundred feet.  We even saw parts of the wall that were in such complete disrepair that it was just a pile of stones!  It was amazing!

After the wall, we went to Olympic Park where we saw The Bird's Nest and The Water Cube.  Those were so cool to see!  I wish we could have gone inside, though.



Haha, whenever we try to get a big group picture, Chinese people start taking pictures of us.  You'd think they've never seen white people before, which is strange because Beijing is such a big city and I feel like they get a lot of tourists!  Sometimes Asians even stand with us while their friends take pictures.  It is the funniest thing ever!

Notice the people on the right.  The guy in the brown shirt even followed us around for like 15 minutes!

For dinner we ate roast duck which was delicious.  But I must say, it's the second day and I'm already kind of getting sick of Chinese food!

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