Tuesday 18 March.
Woke up at 5:30 am and prepared for breakfast. On business trips I am always an early riser and prepare for the day early. I went down to the lobby and asked for breakfast area and guess what, the breakfast buffet area open at 6:30 am.
So, I went out to check out the air. It was chilly. Very quite. Few early risers heading to work.
Breakfast buffet had many choices but being muslim I had limited choices. So, I had scrambled eggs, fruits and tea.
At 7:30 am business meeting started on the 3rd floor where we had booked a meeting room for 3 days. It lasted till 11:30 am. For this meeting colleagues joined from Canada, Argentina, United States, India, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, China, Thailand and Pakistan. 25 people all together.
So, at 11:45 all of us were on the bus with a tour guide heading towards The Great Wall. This is the moment I really waited for a long time. It takes approximately 2 hours from Central Beijing to reach The Great Wall. The section we were going to see was the Badaling section.
Twenty-one thousand one hundred and ninety-six point one eight Kilometers (21,196.18 km), That is the precise length of the Great Wall, which was included as a World Heritage Site in 1987. Approximately 4 million people worked as laborers to build the wall. It took more than 100 years to complete and is the only structure on earth that is visible from space.
It is a wonder and it is big, no, it is very very big. The Wall is really very majestic when you first set sight at it. Made completely with stone, the steps are very steep on the way up. But when you reach the top, the view is simply awesome. It gives you a sense of achievement.
It was very windy and cold there. I had to wear a sweater and a jacket to combat the wind. I wore really good hiking shoes as I knew there will be lot of walking and climbing the stairs involved to really enjoy this place.
The entrance / parking area has lots of shops where you can eat, drink coffee and do some souvenir shopping. It is expensive to buy stuff from there.
If you are planning to visit The Great Wall, make sure you have very comfortable shoes that have good grip. Keep warm clothing (wind breaker jacket Is preferable) as it is cold and windy on the mountain. You also need to be physically fit to climb the steep stairs, if you are not, then it will be very challenging for you to go up. But your visit to China is incomplete if you miss the wall.
If you are not fit to climb up the steep stairs, well you can always take the cable car, it costs 40 RMB one way.
We had a lot of traffic on our way back, office closing time. Our dinner is planned at 7 pm at a Chinese Restaurant. So, I am gonna stop here and get ready for the dinner.