Thursday, September 30, 2010

Beijing, part 13: Going to Simatai

Finally we headed to the Great Wall of China!

We started by sleeping in... Breakfast at 9:30, then go. The roads were busier than I expected for a Saturday morning. Maybe if we'd left earlier...

v4 - Steven and Chunlin on the Road
Chunyu, Yufang, Steven, Chunlin, and I in one car. We met up with Yufang's niece and her boyfriend at a toll gate, for a grand total of seven in our group.

v3 - Jingcheng Expressway over the Chaobai River

It felt good to get out of the city. Once we passed the 6th Ring Road, the Jingcheng Expressway was clear sailing all the way to Simatai.

North of town, the new expressway was an almost continous series of tunnels and bridges.

v16 - Hengchengzi Tunnel

v8 - In the Jindinghu 1st Tunnel

v9 - Juifeng Mountain

I could see the Great Wall in the distance! Let's get closer!
v20 - Welcome to Sīmǎtái

But first, some food.

The restaurant took far too long to produce dumplings. Hmph. No air circulation inside, either, making it unbearable. Hungry, hot, impatient, wanting to go to the wall -- I was in no mood for this delay! Just ask Chunlin.

Finally, we got on the cable car.

v25 - Chunlin on the Cable Car
It was slow, but easier and faster than walking.

v26 - Up the Sīmǎtái Cable Car
Closer and closer to the wall.

v33 - Sīmǎtái East Tower Six

Next, the mini train, pulled up up up by a giant winch.

v34 - Getting on the Tram

Closer and closer, off the tram and up the trail -- staircase, really.

v37 - Climbing up to the Great Wall

Up up up, closer and closer to ... the wall!

v41 - Sīmǎtái Great Wall & Tower Nine

Smaller than I imagined...

More photos on flickr.

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