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Beijing - Day 2

CHINA | Sunday, 16 December 2007 | Views [530] | Comments [5]

Harry picked me up at 8am and we took off for the Great Wall. When I figure out how to transfer photos to this Chinese computer I'll let you all see :)  We got there before the throng of tourist buses, and the icy cold mountain air made my eyes water as the local souvenir merchants tried to flog me some Russian hats and gloves. I caught a cable car up to the top of the mountain and made my way to the first lookout spot. Not a good time for the batteries in the camera to go flat! But fortunately, there are souvenir stalls up here as well, so I replaced them before my fingers froze off.

Sections of the the wall are so steep, I had visions of starving workmen breaking their backs on these slopes to build this wall. It really is an amazing achievement, and the view of the wall trailing over hill tops and through the misty valleys is very speccy, even with the horde of Japanese tourists cluttering the vantage spots. After enough mountain air I fought off more souvenir merchants and made my way back to Harry who waited in his warm car.

We headed back to the city to fill my empty stomach, and after an hour of crazy traffic, Harry got me a seat in a packed restaurant. He ordered two big plates of beef something-or-other, a bowl of rice and a bottle of beer, then said he'd wait for me in the car! Ok, but am I hungry enough? Then I was joined by a woman and her son who spoke broken English nearly as well as Harry, so we chatted a few minutes about Australia.

After filling my guts, we went to the Yonghe Gong Lamastery, an old and beautiful temple complex still used by practising monks.  The smell of burning incence filled the air and I paid homage to the biggest Buddha I've ever seen. The beauty and peace within this place belied the madness of the city traffic circling around outside. Why can't we all live like this? Anyway, after waking up Harry who slept in the car, we drove past Tianamen Square, took a passing snap of Mao, and headed back to my hotel. More sightseeing to come tomorrow :)

Tags: Sightseeing

Comments

1

wooooooot.......ur in China maannn...glad to be able to read up about ur travels too..keep up the texts...i know there will be times when you cant post but try when you can....Have fuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnn..:)

  Chris Dec 16, 2007 8:01 PM

2

Sounds great Matt. Good to see youre havin such a good time.

  James and Wend Dec 17, 2007 11:53 AM

3

Woo hoo!!! Lovin' your journal, Mattso!

Glad you are safe so far - don't eat too many weird things OK and keep warm!!


  Kate - DEC Dec 17, 2007 5:33 PM

4

Great writing. Matt, glad you are having a good time. Hope your train travel is also the best ever. Watch those Mongolian beers!!!

  Mum Dec 18, 2007 3:17 PM

5

Great stuff Matt! Where are the photos though I know they would take time to organise. Will keep checking the site every couple of days.

  Julie Dec 20, 2007 12:13 PM

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