We got a (sort of ) good night’s sleep. Bug’s combination of jet lag and excitement got her up at roughly 3 am, but no matter– after a big breakfast at the breakfast buffet we were good to go to the Great Wall. Wahoo! Bug had been waiting for a long time for this!
We made the hour and half-long drive to the Mutianyu section of the Wall. G and I were excited because this was a different section of the Wall than we saw the first time. We went to Badaling, and while we loved it, it is the most crowded and touristy section, and we relished the opportunity to see a different section.
Mutianyu didn’t disappoint. Mind you, there’s still plenty for the tourists. Here’s a picture of the vendor stalls lining the walk to the cable car up the mountain:
No matter. We hustled past and made our way to the cable car. This was Bug’s first trip in a cable car, and it didn’t disappoint.
Neither did the Wall. The views from Mutianyu were fantastic, as you can see:
And here are a few of the Fam on the wall. I feel so fortunate to have these pictures of us!
After a couple of hours at the Wall we made our way back toward Beijing and stopped for lunch at the Jade Factory. While this is a traditional tourist activity, we were looking forward to it because Bug wanted a smaller piece of jade to wear now (she has a larger pendant we got on our first trip), and our guide Forrest had convinced G he needed one too. So we did our shopping, ate lunch, and then headed to our next stop, the 2008 Olympic Park.
I have to admit the Olympic Park was pretty cool. G and I got to see the area from the highway back in 2008, but this was our first up-close-and-personal visit.
Here we are in front of the Torch:
Here’s the outside of the Bird’s Nest:
Here we are sitting in the aforementioned Bird’s Nest:
And here’s the Water Cube:
Would you believe there’s a super-swank water park in the Water Cube? G is jonesing to try it out on our next trip.
And finally, here’s where Michael Phelps won all those medals:
In a fit of lunacy prodded by our guide, we decided to add on a Kung Fu-themed stage show. Yes, we were already packing three days of sightseeing into two and G and I agreed to add on a show. Not so surprisingly, G and I both dozed off during the show. Our fatigue was not a commentary on the show– it was really cool, Bug loved it, and I highly recommend it. Just not if you are drop dead tired!
We finished up the evening with a dinner of Peking Duck (another check on G’s bucket list!), and made our way back to the hotel to rest and get ready for another day of sightseeing and then an evening flight to Guilin.