The day we became Men.

Said by Louise on the bus back from the Great Wall.

There is an old Chinese saying that “if you haven’t been to the Great Wall of China, you are not a man.” so Louise and I are quite proud of ourselves. Today we went to the The Mutianyu Great Wall of China…

We slept pretty well last night, but one of the guys who had an early train kept waking us up with his alarm. I now detest iPhone alarms. Moving on, as we were up at about seven we popped out to grab cheaper bottles of water and down the road from our hostel was a market. There was fresh fruit, vegetables, clothing etc. And it was fantastic. We then had a good breakfast and got on the bus to The Great Wall. We went to a part of it called Mutianyu. WOW. Firstly, I’m so glad we didn’t walk up the mountain/big hill because we would’ve been exhausted once we got there. Instead we took the chairlift which was quite funny because it was one of those you use when you’re skiing. The getting on is easier than when you’re feet as strapped to some poles but the getting off is a bit of an experience as we literally had to run off and away from it once we got to the top. Louise kept going straight until she realised she was going to meet a wall, haha. So it’s amazing. The ups and downs are steeper than you would imagine but my oh my the views! Besides the fact that our legs were shaking and that it felt ten degrees hotter than it was, it was fantastic. It made me feel like I was in Mulan (I had the music in my head at the time). Another fun part was coming back down from the Great Wall: it was tobogganing/sliding)/bobsleigh. We had a little seat with wheels and had a laugh going down. Obviously you’re meant to stay about twenty metres away from the person in front of you but who does?

Especially not Louise. She was screaming at me to hurry up as we were going down as I was in front of her and I was screaming back. The Chinese must think we’re absolutely barking mad. But anyway, I had a little girl in front of me who was going a nice happy pace, I feel bad that the poor thing had to endure our screeching conversation. But it was so good, a thrilling unique way of getting down from somewhere that is up so high. After that we had lunch and got on the coach. Exhausted.

We’re thinking of heading out to see the Beijing Olympic Park after we get back because we’ve met a few people on this little trip who are staying in our hostel and they’re thinking of going too.

It’s still crazy that barely anyone speaks English in Beijing. I’d feel so lost if I hadn’t learn some. Although, as with any language course, you don’t seem to be taught the necessities of how to get about okay in China. I’ve learnt how to speak it, but the lack of vocabulary always gets me. So I sat on the coach staring at and trying to take in as much as possible from Louise’s guide book and I hope I’ll be some use in the future. I’ve already managed to barter for some postcards so it’ll be okay! I hope.. The amazing world of languages. I feel a little at I’m missing out on Beijing a little because of the language barrier. The lack of time does contribute to this but if I was just a little bit more fluent and confident, I think I’d open a whole other door to the world of Beijing. Hey ho, I am happy to be in China!