When I visited China over ten years ago with my family, we went to the Great Wall, but since my brother Nick and I were younger, we opted for the less rugged, and thus more touristy section. I remember my brother being accosted by a “Mongolian warrior” in traditional garb holding a large sword who wanted an outrageous amount to have his picture taken. A bit like this:
Needless to say, this time around, I was very excited to do a 3-4 hour trek from Jinshanling to Simatai, an unrestored portion that is further from Beijing, and more remote. My tour group of about 15 people were the only ones there! The views were breathtaking, and much appreciated during the short breaks I took from climbing up and down stairs. Below is just a sample of what the terrain looked like… definitely a better and more enjoyable workout than the StairMaster!
^^^ About an hour and a half into the trek
^^^ Just at the start. Not too sweaty yet!
One of the girls on the trek was an acrobat from Holland, in Beijing to perform for the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations with China. She was doing all sorts of tricks on the Wall. I wish I had snapped pictures.
Below is my only trick. Something I learned from Chinese tourists 🙂