Today we'd booked a tour to go to the Great Wall of China, so the tour coach picked us up from the hostel at 8.30 and drove for around 90 minutes until it got to the wall. We'd chosen to visit a stretch of the wall called Mutiyanu which is a little further out but it is usually less touristy and not as repaired as more popular parts such as Badaling. We paid an extra 80 RMB (£8) for tickets to get a cable car up to the wall and for a toboggan ride down!
The walk was amazing and we couldn't have picked a better day as it wasn't that cold and was really bright and sunny. There weren't that many people around either so it definitely pays to go to the wall in the winter months :) We walked up a hilly stretch of the wall and visited around 16 watch towers and reached the furthest tower we were allowed to which had a Chinese flag up on it. I think the wall may be open even further along in the summer months, but the area we walked to was definitely more than enough!!
So after a 3 hour hike we arrived back to the starting point and got to toboggan our way back to the bottom! SO much fun!!!
At the bottom there was a stretch of street markets/shops including one selling dried fruit and nuts. She kept offering us bits to try and Gill and Laura both bought some but I think she got annoyed at me cos I ate a whole bunch of her testers and then walked off ha!
Included in our tour was lunch and we went to a restaurant which seated 9 of us around a table and put lots of little dishes in the middle on a turn table and you just turn it and help yourself. Luckily there were a few vegetable dishes so I was fine. The other 6 people at the table were from Swansea and had actually heard of the Wirral which was nice, and they were in china doing TEFL.
Later that night myself, Gill, Laura and Anne met up with the comedian (James) and his friend Amelia to go get dinner and we went to a restaurant to get traditional duck. I say 'we' meaning them, and I had VERY spicy bean dish and some of the pancakes without the duck. The Chinese-English translations in the menu were hilarious, including dishes called "Old kitchen cabbage" and "Pimple soup" hahah yummmm...
We then went for a few drinks on 'Bar street' (can't remember where we went) and got back about 3 or so as the others had to be up early.