Wednesday 12 November 2014
Today was our trip to the slightly famous Wall. Out at 8am in a mini van and I thought, Oh, this is quite comfortable, let’s go.But for some reason we had drove into a deeeep underground garage and had to swap vans. It felt like a NY gangster scene. But our change was to a black Mercedes van. Near new, all leather. Nice.
It was about a 1 hr drive to Mutianyu. I embarrassed myself by getting caught between seats and door while trying to get out. I had to pull myself in and try again. I learnt the knack after that.
Cold! We walked up steps to a huge alpine village full of rip off shops and cafes. Jan bought a ticket for the cable car to the Wall and a sled ride back. I knew I wouldn’t stand a chance so I stayed behind. I could see the wall, so … that was enough.
It was cold! It was a crystal clear day but a bit of wind made it very chilly, I’d guess 2 – 4C? My hands were soon hurting. Of course the way is lined with stalls all trying to grab your sleeve or at least your attention to sell you gloves or scarves or beanies.There were very few customers. I had the world’s most expensive Cappuccino, Y35 = A$6.73..I fell asleep at the table, but since I was the only customer it hardly mattered. I’d chosen this place in preference to the Burger King next door, but I think I should have gone there.
I went back to the van about 1230 to find Jan already there. I wouldn’t have made it, he said. Even he had trouble – he said the cold was 0C or below with a freezing wind. He couldn’t stay warm.
So it was off on another 1hr drive through the drab countryside along narrow roads to the Ming Tombs at DingLing. We paid Y105 for tickets and lunch, but what do we do? There seemed to be four areas, but how to deal with it? No English translations. We walked around a bit, then had the lunch we’d paid for, in a hall tucked right around the back, with only a Chinese character sign to show the way. Lunch was rice, soy chicken and cold cabbage. It was crap. Nothing to drink.
I couldn’t be bothered with anything else. Jan found a tomb and went down but soon came back saying it was about 50m down steps, and even he had trouble getting back up. This was a complete waste of money. They are not geared for foreign tourism. Y105 = A$20.19.
Another 1hr drive back to hotel around 4pm. There was the 8 hrs we paid Y1,300, = A$250 for ($125 each).
Tired! I bought beer and chips Y17, but no dinner because we can’t find anything around here..