The Great Wall and back

As was getting typical for me, I was up at dawn again. It looks like a nice day out so I might as well do something productive before we go see the Great Wall.

View from my Window

The view from my window

My room faced north so I don’t really get to see the sunrise so I went to the balcony to see how it looked from there.

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No colour to be seen except for the glow on some of the buildings.

Today we were going to see one of the 7 wonders of the world – The Great Wall of China. Well, part of it anyway as it’s more than one wall and covers over 5500 miles. We are going to the Mutianyu section which is considered to be one of the most beautiful sections and as such it has been fully restored.

Tony, our driver, picked us up at 7:30 am and we were soon on the highway. Traffic flowed pretty good until we hit the toll booths. It was interesting watching the traffic move in and out of their lanes going on to and off of the shoulders trying to get ahead. It’s not like they put booths on the shoulders so they had to fight their way back in line. It took us longer to get through the toll area than it took to drive the miles to get there.

 

Tony dropped us off and we walked in to the ticket area.

 

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A ticket for admission, one for the chair lift and one for the toboggan ride back down.

Once you leave the ticket area you board a bus and it drives you up to a long flat area that is full of shops and restaurants.

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Panda’s and sheep are friends?

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Once you navigate past all the shops and vendors it’s a short walk up the hill to the chairlift.

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It’s a long way up.

There was no waiting at the chairlift so we were on our way in no time.

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Nice view on the way up.

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Up, up and away

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After about a 5 minute ride we arrived at the base of the wall. Just a couple sets of stairs – again with the stairs – and we are standing on top of The Great Wall.

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We are lucky enough to have a good air day and you can see for a long way.

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I never in my whole life expected to be able to do something like this. It was awesome to see.

 

Selfies over, we walked up to the first lookout.

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View from the top

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There goes the tour

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The Moffat’s

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We could walk along the wall if we wanted but it involved a lot of climbing and none of us wanted to do that. So it was time to hit the toboggan run.

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Whee!

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Zoom zoom!

It’s a lot harder to lean back on the toboggan and take pictures than you’d think. Having to hold the brake handle to keep going didn’t help.

The fun over, we got back on the bus and headed down to the exit.

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The guy in the yellow hat’s job is to hand out flyers.

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He’d doing a good job. When Lucille got close to him, he started giving her one, looked at her, the pulled it back. I think we were racially profiled.

As we waited for Tony to pick us up I grabbed a couple of shots near the entrance.

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The flowers still looked pretty good for the time of year.

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Great Wall Panorama1

It’s not even  noon when we get back to the apartment. Took an hour and a half to get to the wall but only an hour to get home.

Must be time for lunch so we head over to the mall and Element Fresh.

 

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After lunch we went to one of the places I had on my list of places to go see – 798 Art Zone.

I had read that 798 was full of art galleries, shops and restaurants so I really wanted to go see it.

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Another selfie

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When pigs fly

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Some of the children’s art

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I knew we were in the right place

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There were a lot of booths and activities for kids along the street.

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I took this because I know Samantha Burns would be so jealous

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They were sure having fun

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Looks like so much fun

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She is really in to it

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I found some grafitti but a little late for my photo club assignment.

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Just down the street we saw some more painting going on.

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A bit further along the same street is a shop that actually sells grafitti supplies. It was pretty cool.

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There was so much neat stuff to see that it was hard to walk as I stopped to take pictures so often.

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The whole area is a former industrial area and the mix of old and new is intriguing.

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Everywhere you looked you’d see something different.

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Painting his pottery

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Making pomegranate juice.

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Very focused on her work

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Even more things to see as we walked around.

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Gum?

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A fixer upper

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Good use of a phone booth

As we moved into a different area stuff just got weirder.

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Close-up of the moon.

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I thought it would be bigger.

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Planes and balls.

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I’m not even sure what that is all about.

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Moon creatures?

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Red, white and blue cup mounds?

We had been in 798 for about 3 hours and started to make our way out. I could of spent a couple of days there but Lucille did have a list of things for us to see and do.

I thought I’d shoot some “normal” stuff.

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Metal fence

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A row of valves is normal. Right?

And some not so normal stuff.

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It’s a…..?

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He doesn’t look that impressed considering he’s riding a dinosaur.

As we approached one of the gates I noticed a familiar sign on a building in the distance.

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Pit stop

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Biggest one wins?

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Rosie and I on the way out of 798

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Leaving 798

The 798 Arts District is huge and if I had 2 full days there I would not be able to see everything. It flows into the 751 area that appears to have more of the same kind of stuff as well as fashion shops.

This was the best day so far on my trip. I was in awe at The Great Wall and in total wonderment at 798.

As we made our way to find supper we saw a small traffic jam.

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Not sure what was causing the hold up but was glad we weren’t going in that direction.

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Just a few cranes.

As we got near Peter’s Tex-Mex I saw something that reminded me of my friend Steve Parkin and I just had to take a couple of photos.

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Short bus

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It was around 6:00 pm when we got to Peter’s but it was feeling like a long day. The food was ok and for a Tex-Mex place the strawberry margarita wasn’t great as they had run out of strawberries and substituted mango instead.

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We had a toast to my dad on what would of been his 75th birthday. He would of never gone to China in a million years but I was very happy to be able to go.

Considering all the things we saw today 16635 steps seemed low but we did take a car ride for a good chunk of it. Tomorrow’s another day maybe we’ll do better.

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