Do I even need words?
Today I went on the most spectacular hike of my life... also the hardest! The Great Wall is absolutely amazing and the views were breathtaking.
I signed up for a tour of the wall and found one with just one other couple. I was picked up at 7am, they were picked up at 8 and we arrived at the bottom of the hill at 9:45. I had my worries about the hike beforehand, and it lived up to them... it was much more difficult than I expected! According to the tour website the altitude difference between the start and the highest point is 1,392 feet. My pedometer said 194 floors. I will be honest and tell you that I was tempted to turn back half way through the hike to just get to the wall!
Here is a view from the starting point, you can see the tiny tower in the middle of the picture. I should have known at this point that it would be more than the "moderate" level that their website claimed.
Even some of the downhill parts were knee wobbling.
The whole experience was worth the hour long pain of the hike up to the wall. The reason that I chose this particular hike was because we started on an unrestored part of the wall and walked to a restored part (will post photos of the unrestored in few days). It was interesting to see the contrast between the two.
To end the experience we took a toboggan ride down. It was so much fun and so fast! All that work to hike up and such a quick zip down! We timed it perfectly at just under 4 hours and the rain started as we got off the toboggans!
It was an absolutely spectacular day... and I hope I can move my body tomorrow!