The section of the Great Wall we visited known as Badaling, is located about 45 miles northwest of Beijing. It is a mountain pass at the highest point of the north end of the Guan'gou gorge. The climb to the top of the wall from the entrance at the parking lot has about a 2000 foot elevation gain. The wall snakes around and up the mountain ridge with some very steep sections. It is mostly stairs, some of which are only a few inches tall, while others are a foot or more. The total climb took Kelly and I about an hour. Although this section of the wall is the most popular, and crowded, the people thinned out very quickly. I'd guess that less than 10% of those starting the climb actually made it to the top.
Nira was one of our tour group members from California.
Finally, at the top! Gasping for breath in the cold air.
After we made it back down the wall, we had an hour to kill while waiting for the less fit members of our tour group. For a mear $10, you could get an 8-10 laminated photo wearing the traditional Chinese warrior clothing. We couldn't resist.
On the spur of the moment, I laid down and had Kelly pretend to stab me. This turned out to be a big hit with the locals, as all the shops emptied out and the people laughed as we hammed it up. Kelly really didn't want to go along with this at first, but eventually took to it with a little too much zeal.
Kelly seemed to like this photograph a bit too much. She ended up having it printed on a purse so she could show it everwhere she goes. I'm thinking of cancelling that insurance policy.