We are back from our incredible China trip! First, I'll tell you about my favorite experience in China: climbing The Great Wall at Juyong Pass.
Now, this experience probably tops the coolest experience I've ever had. The Great Wall is one of the 7 Wonders of the World. The Great Wall is massive. It's sheer size and how it snakes over and through the mountains is something that you can only appreciate in person. The wall and mountains seem endless. The wall stretches for 5,500 miles east to west and goes through the mountains, grasslands and desert and it's 2,000 years old!
I don't really know what I was expecting, but we got to the wall and I was in awe. I was even more in awe when I got on the wall and saw the enormous stone stairs we would be climbing. Needless to say we got a crucial workout. The views were spectacular. And it was a total bonus that we happened to be in China when all the Spring trees were in bloom.
Once we got to the top we relaxed for a little while (or tried to - Chinese people were going crazy with the photos) and I wrote a post card to my family. As we were doing this another couple from our tour group arrived and got engaged on top of the Great Wall!! Ahhhh so amazing!
The decent was easier, but still when we go to the bottom my legs were shaking (and I'm in pretty good shape)! We rewarded ourselves with a big 'ol Chinese beer and enjoyed it with one of the best views ever.
I loveloveloved this vacation even though an enormous amount of time was spent in planes, trains, buses and metros. China is huge! The cities are massive and there are so many people which makes for congested transportation. But, even getting around the country was a cultural feast for your eyes and ears. I generally loved the Chinese people and were surprised by their outgoing and welcoming nature. For some reason I expected the Chinese not to like Americans, but it was quite the opposite! I could hardly go anywhere without being stopped by a Chinese person for a photo. It felt really strange to have strangers take pictures of me/with me all the time, it was quite exhausting. Someone from our tour group said "you're like the Group Unicorn." I wanted to say to the camera-happy Chinese "you know my hair is dyed, nothing special here!" China was a non stop, busy and totally amazing adventure and I loved my time in the big cities of Beijing, Xian and Shanghai. I have so much to blog about, so stay tuned!