Mutianyu Great Wall

Today was set aside for the Great Wall. We chose to do a section of the wall that we have not seen before. As with the other sections, this one was well worth the drive as well as the early start to our day. We were on the road as of 7:00 and upon arriving at the wall we were glad of the early start because there were no lines which translated into less people and a better time.

Now, we knew that we did not want to climb up to the wall as well as the wall itself. Before starting our trip we had planned to ride the cable car up. I was not thrilled about this but thought that even with my fear of falling, with Glenn and four walls plus a floor I should be able to get to the top and hold myself together. Well….there was a cable car but it went to the wrong end of the wall. The section that we planned to tackle had a chair lift not a cable car – no walls, no floor, just a lap belt and open air. I was terrified but also stuck because here I am having promised the girls and what kind of example would I be setting if I said that I have an irrational fear and I am letting it stop me from grabbing hold of life. It was only Glenn who got me on that thing if I am honest. Without him I wouldn’t have got on and then my day would have been ruined because I would have felt like a bad example. Anyways, Elspeth and him were beside me and had a great time chatting about the chestnut trees we were passing over and the slide chute below us while I sat clenching the bar with my eyes shut trying to hold it together…not sure that I succeeded in presenting the image that I wanted to. 🙂 Katrine? She got to sit with our guide for the day; swung her legs back and forth having a grand time.

Then we climbed and climbed. Both of the girls did much better than us older folks but we two hung in there. It is even more amazing when you consider the fact that some of the stone steps came up to Elspeth’s waist! We made it to 8 different lookouts and the views were well worth all of the work. Stunning! It was a bit overcast today which actually made it even more interesting as the clouds reached down to touch the mountain tops in places. The views from Lookout 1 were the most impressive with a clear view in many different directions.

Now please don’t worry that I had to travel back down on the chairlift. I never had any plans of traveling both directions in hanging contraptions. This section of the wall has a slide that you can ride down the mountainside. A hand break, and the speed of the person in front of you, determine how fast you go and if you lean into the corners you will be fine. This we were all excited about and it too held up. We all enjoyed speeding down straightaways and around corners…although the people in front of us appeared to want to go rather slow at times. Fun for the whole family!