Firstly let me apologise for any typos - we are in a really grungy internet cafe and I can't see the keyboard. People around us look like they have been here for days!
We left for the Great Wall on Friday on our mini bus and after 3 hrs we arrived in a small village kist off the Simatai section of the wall. We then began our grewelling 4 hr trek along the wall. Parts of the wall have been restored and is like a smooth paved path but the majority is large lose stones or near vertical foot high steps! We passed 30 towers which hopefully you will be able to see on the photos. It was much harder than we both expected and we were both glad when we could see the hostel. Of course I (James) couldn't pass up the opertunity to zip line down to the hostel across the valley below. Some of the other lads and myself decided to get up nice and early - 5am and watch the sun rise from the highest tower in the region. This seemed like a good idea but it took an hour and a half in bitter freezing wind turning back crossed my mind several times. We made it to the top and spent the next hour watching the sun 'slowly' rise from the peeks in the distance. Amazing views which didn't look so amazing in the photos.
On the way back to Beijing to catch our train we stopped of at the olympic staduim breifly. Really strange design and looks like they still have a lot of work to do! We then caught a over night sleeper train to X'ian.