|Today the Great Wall was our chosen destination. We had to get up really early at 5:30 am in order to be ready when the tour started at 6. The trip was organized by our hostel and our group consisted of a German family, who live in Bad Rappenau, and a very cool English guy called Tom, for whom China was a the last stop of a one year world tour.
The drive to the wall took us not less than 3 hours and was a very nerve-wrecking experience since people behave like nuts in the traffic. For example most of the time, when there was too much traffic on the road our driver decided to use the lane for bicycles – and no one seemed to care. Red lights? – Never mind! Just give it a good honk and go. (I guess his style of driving must habe something to do with his mascot - see the baby on the car dashboard)
Nevertheless, we arrived safely at the Great Wall of Jinshangling and faced a 10 km walk to the Great Wall of Simatai, which took us 4 hours and made us climb steep steps up and down always followed by friendly and helpful Mongolians who tried to sell us souvenirs after a while. The scenery was very beautiful and you could look deep inside Mongolia to the North and China to the South.
When we were climbing the wall one detail caught our attention: the height of the steps. Even for a person my size they were pretty high, I can hardly imagine how a small Chinese guy wearing an armor was running up and down the Wall. How steep it really was one can see on the pictures I added.
We were back at our hostel at 5 pm and decided to go to the Silk Market (actually a place crowed with Chinese vendors who try to sell you counterfeits at ridiculously high prices – “special price just for my friend”). Angela was interested in a Tommy Hilfiger Sweatshirt which was offered to us at 600 Yuan (~ 60 €). In the end the girl selling the clothes lost her smile, called us good bargainers and agreed on 150 Yuan, which I guess still has a good margin in it for her.