Daily Archives: July 10, 2008

Climbing the wall

I am sitting in the bus on our last day in Beijing.  Our plan today is to walk up Coal Hill, see the pandas at the zoo and visit a Lama temple before we head to the airport to check in. As we are in a traffic jam is not looking likely that we will be able to do all of that.

Since I last wrote we have seen some amazing sights.  The Great Wall was spectacular and it was a thrill to see the group perform there.  We had a hot sunny day which meant that we could see for miles and our photos are beautiful.  Before we started climbing the group gave a concert at the entry.  They were able to set up and play in the shade of a pavillion.  Understandably our presence there drew in the tourists and we had an audience of young and old, Chinese and foreigners.  The response was positive throughout but the particular reacton to the Butterfly Concerto was lovely to see.  As soon as the musicians started it, there was applause and then more several times throughout the piece.

View from the wall

Then we climbed!  The steps are very steep and the sun was very warm so it wasn’t long before the group divided into smaller groups:  the serious, the deadly serious and not quite so serious.  Which ever group you were in it was still a thrill to be on the wall and see what a massive task it must have been to construct it.  I was a mildly serious climber going only as far as I could on the limited sleep I had had at that point.  All the surrounding hills were covered in different tress, some of them planted in formation creating a green tapestry on all sides.  The wall itself snaked off in two directions over hills and out of sight.