Lourdes plus the Pyramids; very much beaten path
Lourdes and the Pyramids: I tell about the crowds, the people there!
I took a bus in Beijing (bus N° 919, for 12 Y for the 70km to the great wall; by taxi it is 250Y. . . ) and arrived at the Great wall (great wall of Ba Da Ling part) one and a half hour later. I will not write and describe a lot as this place seem one of the most visited places on the planet; looking at all the people I almost decided to return to Beijing on the spot! Well I kept there, paid entrance fee, and went to visit the wall.
All what you can see is the renovated part of the wall, and attractions (they did not attract me! I was not in the mood for that), museums and other facilities.
Many people and noise, music: there was music, loudspeakers, etc. . . and a display on a hill for the future Olympics in Beijing.
I went up on the left side, where it seemed a bit more quiet, and after walking for 10mn, the crowds became looser, less people and I could begin to breathe and look quietly and the landscape and at the wall.
I must say, I do not like the renovated things which look too new, too clean, and the renovated part of the great wall is like that.
Many vendors (souvenirs, hats, false old coins (may be true coins from the Ming or other imperial era) spoil the place too, but at the end I did not care of them. The only interesting thing on the wall was to look at the landscape, look at this wall in the mountain, turning and climbing looking like a giant snake sometimes.
Look at my off the beaten path tip about the wall to know what can be much more interesting to do at the wall!
To get there:Bus, 919
Tour operators organise buses there. Main picture:Do you see the crowds on the wall? You understand what I mean with Mourdes, the Pyramids, and why I almost returned to Beijing?
Picture 2:This wall looks too clean, too new, no? I was not expecting to foind something like that here.Most beautiful is the landscape with the wall running on the mountains.
Picture 3: At the entrance of the Ba Da Ling part of the Great Wall; maps and explanations for what to do and where.For the interested people there seems a lot to do, but as already written, not in the crowds for me.
Picture 4: People everywhere, big ads on the hill (here for the Olympic games), and you do not hear the loudspeakers with supermarket music . . .
Picture 5: Ah, and here the vendors near the entrance of the Ba DaLing area; they are almost aggressive, want to sell you absolutely something if you happen just to have a glimpse at their things; one grabbed my arm and I almost lost patience, which in China would not at all have had a good effect; just try to keep cool with these people, they try to do their job.