Friday, 4 March 2011

China: Day 2

Day 2: 27th August 2010

Today we had our very first full day in China. Even though we didn't start trekking today, it was still quite a tiring day, mainly because of our jet lag and the stupidly early start! Waking up to Chu's alarm at 5.30am, we got ready for our first day by packing our day sacks, filling them with everything we thought we'd need today. Food wasn't provided so we made sure we packed most of the snacks and water that we'd bought yesterday. Breakfast was at 6.30am so once we'd done a final sweep of the room to make sure we hadn't left anything, we set off downstairs with our 55/60L bags and day sacks. We dumped our bags in the foyer, and went off to the hotel restaurant, where we were greeted with our first breakfast in China.

The stuff they offered was a strange combination. It consisted of fried gayozas, steamed buns, fried, boiled and salted eggs, noodles, congee, slices of spam or ham, udon, salad. It was like they couldn't decide between an English breakfast or a Chinese one so they just made everything and hoped that they got it right. I don't remember there being cereal either.

By 7am, we'd all hopped onto the bus and were driven to Shanhaiguan. Because it was a 5 hour drive, we stopped at a service station on the way. Seriously it was HUGE for just a mini shop and a toilet stop.

There seemed to be tonnes of people there just hanging out and eating pot noodles, haha. I ended up speaking to Ollie who I'd spoken to yesterday after dinner, and we were so into the conversation that he nearly followed us into the girls' toilets! Hahahahaa. Needless to say, the loos were gross and I nearly died from slipping on the wet floor -_- GROSSSSS.

We eventually got to Shanhaiguan, and had lunch at a restaurant just outside Shanhaiguan City Wall. We realised it here first, but it seemed like our tour guides and bus driver always had a very different meal to us whenever we ate. Last night we all sat at the same table so we all ate the same food, but from this day onwards, the tour guides and bus drivers always sat at another table and had different and perhaps a less interesting selection of food. I figured it was cos we were tourists so they ordered all the typical tourist foods for us. Pictures galore!


So after lunch, we all piled back onto the bus, which drove us to the Great Wall museum.

Shoddily taken from the bus
Outside of Shanghaiguan City Wall

I don't think any of us realised how hot it was outside until we had to get off and walk for about 10 minutes. (Appreciation for technology starts from today.)

Just after we got off the bus, Cheney leads the way
Apparently we weren't going here but I took a photo anyway
Random photo..
Front of the Great Wall Museum

As soon as we entered the museum, the first thing we saw was a curved wall engraved with the Great Wall. It was so detailed and beautiful that everyone stood there taking photos for a good 5 minutes. 

N.B. Some photos look repeated - I was supposed to take 'panoramic' shots for my friend (I promised I would) but they turned out crap so I never took the time to try and put them together.

Perhaps I should also mention that there was a slab of marble (or whatever material) in the middle of the room introducing the museum I guess..

Anyways I took tonnes of pictures inside the museum but there's way too many to post here.. so I've chosen some of my favourites.

There was a story behind why the women were in the tower. Something to do with waiting for the men to return home? Or it might have been that they were look outs.. I have such crap memory, I don't remember..

After this, we walked back to the bus.. on the way back we saw a man (possibly a bus driver) resting/napping in the suitcase compartment of his bus. Pretty good idea!

We were then driven to Shanhaiguan where the Great Wall starts right by the sea.. First we went to see where the soldiers used to stay, and we also say the prison cells..

Reminded me of TVB dramas.. Seriously watch too many..
Prisoners were kept here

Me and Soldier in my grubby glory
LOL I look so stunted, but he loves me :P

Afterwards we made our way towards the sea and the start of the Great Wall. On our way, we saw loads of touristy 'entertainment sellers':

Felt like I should take a pic of this sign..

And then we began our ascent up what I thought were ridiculous steps. These were nothing compared to the Great Wall 'steps'.

Thought it was cute, so snapped a pic
View of the start of the Great Wall  before our ascent to the sea

Gonna be lame and stop again. Seriously didn't realise how long it would take me.. I should probably leave it for when I have more time. Off to do some much needed work, so will post some more maybe tomorrow, or if not then the weekend. Thanks for tolerating me guys :)

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