My Life - So Far

"Unbounded ambition makes an obscure existence simply impossible for me"
Lucien de Rubempré

Monday, October 08, 2007

Beijing IV

As the weather forecast predicted sunshine on Saturday, I booked a trip to the Great Wall. Back in Switzerland I saw georgous pictures of the not so touristy section between Jinshanling and Simatai. The only problem is Jinshanling lies 120km out of Beijing. So the bus left the hostel at 6:15 in the morning and the journey took almost three and a half hours. In the bus I met a couple from London and we talked about travelling and China, because the've been in Hong Kong some days before. At Jianshanling, we had to take an old and scary cableway up to the wall...

Then the 11.5km hike began! The sun was shining and it was pretty hot, but fortunately I had enough water with me... Some sections of the wall were rebuildt whereas others were almost destroyed. However I was deeply impressed by this enormous construction! The Great Wall is the world's longest human-made structure, stretching over approximately 6,400 km. It is also the largest human-made structure ever built in terms of surface area and mass and it was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.To set an end to all the rumours about the visibility from the moon: No lunar astronaut has ever claimed he could see the Great Wall from the moon...

Mao Zedong had a saying, "You're not a real man if you haven't climbed the Great Wall" ("Bú dào Chángchéng fēi hǎo hàn"). So now I can call me a real man! :-) Having arrived in Simatai, we got lunch in a restaurant and our group talked about all the world and his brother. We all were tired and on the ride back everyone was sleeping...

The next day I had my flight to Tokyo at 4:40PM. Under no circumstances I wanted to miss my flight, so I went to the airport quite early. I had time to go to Starbucks at the Departure Terminal, where I met a webdesigner from Hong Kong, who's working in Shanghai and Beijing. We talked for a long time until we had to take our flights. Mine with Air China was delayed and so I arrived in Tokyo pretty late, as I had to go through customs and everything... As I didn't book my room in advance, I went to the Sakura Hostel in Asakusa by taxi and fortunately they still had some beds available.


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