The Great Wall: Mutianyu Section

Today, Monday May 8, was our first full day in Beijing, China. We landed at 1:20 pm yesterday after a 13 hour flight.

Today started off with an interesting breakfast, provided by the hotel. I had eggs, fried rice, noodles, and some sort of dumpling filled with what I think may have been red bean. And of course, coffee.

Then we we had a Program Orientation where we learned a little bit more about the Asia Institute and what the next two weeks has in store for us.

Because we had some time to spare before having to meet up again to head to lunch near the Great Wall, a group of us went to Starbucks and walked around. There was an interesting bread store and a nail salon with live cats in the window!

At 10:30, we boarded the bus to go to lunch near the Great Wall. The food was so good! It was traditional Chinese style, similar to what I had the night before, where several different dishes are ordered and then shared via “lazy susan”. We were served primarily chicken dishes and vegetable dishes. The eggplant was incredible! I’m also getting better at using chopsticks already.

After a delicious meal, we made our way to the Great Wall. There were many vendors selling cool things, but we were warned not to buy anything from them. I took the chair lift up to the Great Wall, which brought us to watch tower 14. I walked along the wall until watch tower 6. The wall has many steps that are completely uneven. Some were super steep while others you could easily take two-three steps at a time. This made it challenging to walk along the wall, as you constantly have to look down. But when you take a break and look around, the view is absolutely breathtaking!

Once we got to watch tower 6, I took the toboggan down off the wall. It was so much fun! I was nervous about the speed, but it wasn’t bad at all.

Anyway, I’m off to hot pot with Dr. Li and some friends now! I can’t wait to go out and exploring Beijing later!

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