Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mutianyu Great Wall and Ming Tombs

September 25, 2008

We signed up for a tour with The China Culture Center to visit the Mutianyu section of the great wall and the Ming Tombs. Thursday was a nice day weather wise. Fall is in the air the temps were in the low 70's and the sky was clear with gentle breezes. Sandy, Olivia, Sandy's Mom and I began our day early at 8 AM and hopped a cab down to Chaoyang to the CCC office where we boarded our bus. The drive out to the wall is about 2 hours through the city and into the mountains that surround Beijing. We arrived at the wall and decided to take the gondola up to the wall.
This is what it looked like going up to the wall.

We made it to the top and once again were awed by the beauty of the Great Wall. This section is much less commercialized than the Badaling section that we visited earlier in our trip. The views were spectacular. I'll let the photos speak for our experience.

Sandy and Dottie

The wall snaking up the mountain.

Us on the wall.

Sandy and her Mom at the entry to a watch tower.

Sandy took this shot out the window of the watch tower.

Beijing off in the distance.

Us again.

One of the watch towers.

The family on the Great Wall.

Sandy and her Mom.

Views of the wall...

Alternative transportation to the top of the Great Wall.

View of the Mountains.

This was taken from the gondola on the way back down.

When we got to the bottom we were greeted by the vendors selling t-shirts and other souvenirs on the trail all the way back to the bus. We stopped and bought a couple of shirts.
The tour also included lunch which we ate a local restaurant and then we were off to the Ming Tombs. The ride through the mountains was very beautiful and we went through many chestnut groves and could see the farmers harvesting them. We also passed by quite a few peach groves too. We arrived at the Ming tombs and went down inside the tomb. Not much to see here just a catacomb of sorts. Its funny how the Chinese throw money at these places. Here is picture of the pile of money in the tomb.

We boarded the bus again for a short drive to the Sacred Walk Way. This is a path that as used in ancient times to contemplate before visiting the tombs. The path is lined with large marble statues of animals and people. Here are some pictures of what we saw there.

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