Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Great (trek to the) Wall

It was a cloudy day, with a light drizzle. From Beijing we drove north to the Great Wall at Badaling, taking the old road, as the freeway was solid traffic.

Near the wall we stopped and parked. The guide explained we had to take a short walk as we could not park any closer. Along a wide empty road we walked uphill, two kilometers, past two separate coach parks to the entrance. At the top were a dozen buses and a crowd of people.

Where are all the foreign tourists? A mystery for the whole trip.

We walked up and down along the wall, to where the guide said we could "slide" down. We should have been suspicious and questioned her, but it was our first day in town.

The slide looked to be something out a county fair 50 years ago, and was controlled by the driver with a manual friction brake. He drove really slow and rode the brake all the way down.

At the bottom was "Badaling Bear Paradise." Most did not see the irony, it was Badaling Bear hell.

This is a World Heritage Site; I had expected so much more.