Since we missed seeing Mao yesterday we wanted to be sure to get there today before heading to the Great Wall. We got off at the Tiananmen Square station but there was some kind of event going on and they had the entire square closed off and the mausoleum was closed. Feeling a little deflated we got back on the subway and headed to the Beijing North train station and got our ticket to the Badaling Station for the Great Wall.
We grabbed a few snacks at the train station and waited around for the train to depart. One thing we've noticed is that whenever there is a line of people waiting for something in China, people will push and shove to get to the front of the line regardless of what it's for. When the gate finally opened for the train, people at the front of the line literally ran to be the first ones on the train. It was hilarious to us because there was obviously plenty of room but they just had this need to be the first ones on.
The train ride was fine and we got off at the Badaling station. It was a bit odd but there wasn't really a good sidewalk or path to get to the Great Wall entrance from the station. Half the time we were just walking on the road with a bunch of other people. When we finally got to the ticket station we bought our tickets and started exploring.
Mike read on Tripadivsor to take the the South path since everyone goes up the North path. We started walking South and basically had the entire wall to ourselves. We walked for about a half hour ascending some extremely steep sections and looking out several towers. It really is impressive seeing the wall. It's one of the few things in China that I've actually been 'wowed' by. We also had a relatively smog free day which made the visibility really good.
We headed back to the station and got our tickets for the train back to Beijing. The station was under construction though and full of dust and guys using power tools with ear-splitting grinding going on. That would definitely not fly at all in America but it seemed to be relatively common here since no one batted an eye at it.
We both passed out and got a little sleep on the ride back to the city. Once we arrived we tried getting the tickets that we bought online for our high speed train from Beijing to Shanghai tomorrow. No one seemed to have any idea what we were trying to do so we gave up and went back to Supreme Hotpot and had another great dinner. We got the beef combo plus mushrooms and some dumplings.
We're going to try and see Mao in the morning before we catch our train. Hopefully we can catch it since Mike has been wanting to see it since he was here 20 years ago. Tomorrow night we're meeting up with some friends of friends in Shanghai for dinner. We're hoping they can give us some good advice on places to visit and things to do when we're there.