DiSCOVER. Trip to China. Day 6. July 21, 2013.

Climbing the Great Wall of China!

Day 6. Thankful.

The entrance sign of the Great Wall

My first view of the Great Wall as our tour bus pulled into the parking lot.

Group picture! We were all pretty determined and ready to climb the steep and stony steps.

There were already a lot of people on the Wall when we started.

Today was amazing! I climbed the Great Wall today 😀 it was so much tougher than i expected. We started off at 9:15ish and the first steps were already an indication that this was not going to be a cake walk. I had to take breaks every so often but i didn’t want to stop. Eventually, i made it up to the 4th beacon stop and it was 10:30. I took abundant number of pictures and it was so amazing to be there. I’ve always wanted to be here! So amazing. We had to leave at 11:30 and i wish we had spent more time there. I would’ve tried to climb even further if i had had enough rest and pause intervals.

What a privilege it was to be walking on the Great Wall! I was so excited.

I had no idea that the Great Wall was so steep!  This is a shot that I took by holding the camera directly in front of me.  Some steps were so high that I had to hold my hand on the next step before I could heave myself over. It was physically demanding for sure!

Even though it was super hot and smoggy that day — do you see how red my face is? — I loved every minute of it.

If you put a lock on the chain, it’s supposed to represent some kind of eternal love for you and your partner. One of the locks is shaped like a heart! And we made a human wall on the Great Wall of China. 😉

We did a fun inception picture — me taking a picture of Wendy taking a picture of Clifton taking a picture of Mandy taking a picture of Amy. Haha. When we got back down to the gift shop area, we celebrated with popicles! (Actually, they were very necessary since we were all parched!)

I love this picture! I conquered the Great Wall. Haha, sort of. Here’s a jumping picture to express my happiness.

We had lunch next, and looked at some pretty souvenirs in the same place.

We had some kind of strong alcoholic shots at lunch. The souvenir shop downstairs was huge!

This was so scary — we were on the way to the airport to fly to Xi’an and the bus driver decided not to take the highway! Who does that?! We were going to miss our flight if we didn’t go any faster. After the tour guide freaked out and told the driver to get back on the highway, we were finally on our way to the airport…

Then we were stuck in traffic. We almost missed our plane to Xi’an!  Thankfully, we made it to the airport just in time. Phew! While on the plane, I was sitting next to the representative from Mandarin Holidays and we had a fruitful conversation. He told me that if we had missed the flight, the ramifications would have been huge!!! We probably wouldn’t get on another plane at all and our entire itinerary could be wiped. So scary. I’m so thankful that we did indeed catch the plane. The ironic thing was that the plane was actually delayed and because of that, we weren’t in the air until 6:30. Good thing the 2-hour flight provided a meal service 🙂

Lining up all of our luggage in a row to be checked in as a group when we finally got to the airport. We all ran from the tour bus to the airport doors since we thought we were going to miss our flight!

Finally boarded the flight to Xi’an! PHEW! Ironically, the flight was delayed and we sat in the plane for a while waiting to take off. However, this was a much better option than actually missing the flight. :S

Finally, we arrived in Xi’an at 8:40 ish. We opted out of the tour meal that night since it was so late and none of us were hungry.  All luggage claimed and we met our local guide, Rose. She is older than our current tour guide but speaks excellent (ding ding hao) English and is also very funny. Looking forward to the 2 days with her 🙂

Arrived at the Xi’an Xianyang International Airport! The hotel was fantastic.

At night, we checked into the Grand Nobel Hotel which was gorgeous! The city is entirely surrounded by the city wall. A group of us took a walk to find Muslim Street. We had some skewers and beef noodles at a dai pai dong. It was all right. The skewers were much better last night in Beijing. When we walked back to the hotel, all the underpasses that we had used to get there were closed, so we ran across the roads in front of cars all around the roundabout. It was quite the adventure.

Walking in the dark to find Muslim Street and a nice place to eat.

Beef noodles and skewers!

So gorgeous at night! It was lighted up perfectly to showcase its magnificence.

Xi’an is so beautiful.

All in all, one word i have to describe about today is: thankful.

So thankful that i got to finally experience and climb the great wall. (What an iconic spot!). Thankful to have dodged a bullet and got on the plane. Thankful to have survived the traffic. Just thankful all around 🙂 tmr marks day 7 and i can’t believe that it will be the halfway point of our trip!!! Time has flown by!

Thank you for reading 🙂

Want to see what happened throughout the trip?

Click to view my posts for Day 1&234, 57891011, 12, 13, 14, and 15!

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About stenoodie

I'm a stenographer, foodie, avid traveller, and a really silly person if you get to know me well enough. =)
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17 Responses to DiSCOVER. Trip to China. Day 6. July 21, 2013.

  1. Pauline says:

    2 hour flight and there is a meal service? Man. That’s awesome!

    Oh and of course, congratulations in climbing the Great Wall :D! I can’t even begin to imagine how hot and humid it was!

  2. stenoodie says:

    Yeah! I was pleasantly surprised too that there was a meal service on the flight; all the North American flights that were 2 hours or so never give you a meal — only a packet of measly peanuts and a drink if any! Haha.

    Thanks, Pauline! Have you been to the Great Wall before? I can’t remember if you have or not. You’ve been to so many places yourself. 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      I think it’s considered lucky if you get a packet of peanuts! These days, it’s only a drink! bahhaahahaha…

      No, I have never been to China. My father has been asking me to go, so it’s high on the list 🙂 I appreciate the heads up from you, though!

  3. Carmen says:

    I’m so jealous. I’ve always wanted to go to the Great Wall. Still haven’t had a chance to. Perhaps in the next few years… 🙂

    • stenoodie says:

      You are so close to China! I’m sure that when you get vacation days or are done teaching in Korea that you can take a visit around China! 🙂 That’s what Holly did last year for around a week or so too!

  4. hollyedejer says:

    Such amazing pictures! I’m glad you had an awesome time and the Wall lived up to expectations for you! It definitely felt so surreal when I visited, too! :O

    • stenoodie says:

      Thanks, Holly! I undermined how much physical strength and endurance is needed to climb this thing! Haha, maybe one day I’ll go again in the future to cover even more ground. 🙂

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