Saturday, July 9, 2011

Walking the Great Wall

Who knew haggling was exciting? I discovered today at the Great Wall that I love bartering. I was very successful, but it would have been even better if the people didn't keep insisting on speaking English to me! I would speak in Chinese, they would respond in English. It was unfortunately easy to give in to responding in English, but on the positive side I had so much fun that it has given me incentive to practice my Chinese so that I can barter myself. It has also given me reason to put aside my reservations about conversing in Chinese. Maybe practicing speaking Chinese with my roommate in the bus on the way to the Great Wall helped. So my success story is that i got 3 things for nearly 100 Kuai. That's about $15 dollars! I got a jade owl, a dress, and a table runner, but I really still think the experience of buying these things were the best part.

I actually enjoyed the hike up to the top of the Great Wall to my friends dismay. I am so glad that I started running earlier this summer; if I hadn't I would have been in so much pain. The view from the top was beautiful as you looked over these ancient walls to these hills. I don't understand how this works, but the mountains in China look sacred. The view was breath taking and the day was clear. I couldn't have asked for much more. Being on the wall made me think back to all of the history classes I had taken that had referenced the wall and the stories that I had heard. I think recalling my lessons from grade school to high school made the experience of climbing the Great Wall so much more enjoyable. There was one view that made me realize how incredible the construction of this wall actually is. Luckily I took a photo so you can see for yourself. Personally, I think the whole area reminded me of a Chinese Yosemite.

Me in a tower at the Great Wall! Felt like a step back in history when I was inside that tower! It was also a ridiculously amazing hide away from the heat. It is about 10 degrees cooler in there.

A group of us at the top! Can you see the relief in some people's faces?

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