Kyla and Nick Around the World travel blog

Starting off the wall at Badaling.

The North, more heavily touristed section of the wall at Badaling

More wall

Nothing like a Mongol scythe to liven up a shot of the...

One of the way stations on the South section. Almost deserted -...

The blame is squarely on Kyla for the silly poses... this is...

Trying many times for a good Facebook profile photo

Sad, really, that our generation now takes photos to be their profile...

One of the guard statues at the Ming Tombs, along the sacred...

Entrance to the Ding Emperor Tomb, one of the 13 Ming Tombs...

The Emperor's Throne, entombed within the underground palace.

We visited the Great Wall at Badaling, the closest section to Beijing. Normally packed wall-to-wall (slight pun intended), it was empty during the winter. A little cold and windy, but not too bad. Dick and Diane's driver, Zhang, drove us up, only about an hour out of town.

Out at the wall, we could choose to go left (South), or right (North). The right way was much busier, because there was a gondola back to the parking lot at a point about an hour in to the walk. We scoffed at those lazy, pudgy tourists who would need a gondola ride back down, and hiked off to the South.

Steep. Much steeper than you think from photos.

We had the South almost to ourselves, and walked for about an hour till the reconstructed section finished. We then hiked back, neatly avoiding the souvenir sellers (do that many people want a big furry hat with a red star in the middle? I haven't seen many Chinese wearing them...), and decided to walk along the North section. It was much busier, and, horror of horrors, we succumbed to the gondola ride on the way back down. But we had a schedule to keep, and had to make our way to the Ming tombs before heading back to Beijing.

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