In all honesty I’d never considered traveling to China but I was given the opportunity and decided to jump on it. I loved visiting and would go back in a heartbeat. This vacation was an adventure before I even left Texas. I already had a passport but I’d never had to get a travel VISA before. Those are kind of a pain and not cheap but we got it all taken care. The flight there was 14 hours and fairly miserable. I sat in the middle in coach. My Nana that I was traveling with has a lot of miles and got bumped up to first. Needless to say I went to hangout with her a bit while stretching my legs.
We traveled China with Viking and our tour guide for the trip met us in the Beijing airport. Exhausted as I was I remember the trip from the airport to our hotel, the air was murky and everything was deep blue-gray. Or at least it was until we hit the heart of the city. Then it was all bright and colorful light on buildings. The lines of traffic were rivers of light: red and white, red and white. We stayed at the JW Marriott and I’m glad it was evening when we go there because I was nearly asleep on my feet. The hotel was nice and the international breakfast buffet was fantastic. I tried all sorts of new stuff for breakfast.
The first thing we did on the first morning was visit The Great Wall. Despite my exhaustion from jet lag I was excited. Visiting The Great Wall should be on your bucket list if it isn’t already. The sheer size of it is incredible and the history behind it is intriguing. The Great Wall was originally separate walls that were built by various separate kingdoms before the Qin Dynasty then later combined into what we know as The Great Wall.
Most of the people on this trip were retirees and the group my Nana and I were in was no exception. Granted there were a few exceptions to the retiree rule (myself being one). Our guide gives us a quick history lesson then tells us what time to meet back up and our group splits. The older generation goes to explore the portion of the wall with the easier grade while us younger people went off to climb the stepper portion. I’m in decent shape and I got winded on that climb. I have no idea how people could have climbed the stepper portions in armor of any kind. Not because they couldn’t deal with the weight but because of the restrictions in movement on the any armor coupled with steep stairs.
I loved every minute we were there, I was surprised that it was the first thing we did the first morning we were in China but I wouldn’t change it. If you get the chance – go. The wall is worth the climb, worth the view and definitely worth the memories.
This was just the first morning. Catch the afternoon of our first day in China next Wednesday! Happy Travels.
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