I’d heard so much about The Great Wall, when to go, where to go and what to avoid but no one’s mentioned that you could cheat in the most fun way possible and do a section of it by flying down a toboggan run!
We got there at 8.30am and expected hoards of tourists but the section of the wall we got to, Mutianyu, was practically deserted. We started at gate 1 with the aim to walk to gate 23. Then we discovered the fun way to do The Wall. I took the cable car up to gate 6 – purely for the fantastic views and photo opps – not because I’m lazy… honest! It was so misty though it was tricky to see much at all.
I walked from gate 6 up to gate 15, a group of us enjoyed it as a leisurely stroll but elements of it were pretty steep and the steps not made for big western feet. Part of the wall was being repaired but wasn’t cornered off, just a couple of old dudes with pipes and chisels. They missed a trick here as a million tourists would surely pay to help put the odd stone in and say they’d help build The Great Wall.
Then back down to gate 6 to take the toboggan down the steep slope. Like a young excited child I waited slightly nervously. Our rickety plastic toboggans were ready to board with a lever to accelerate and break. The last time I’d done this I was about 10 and Windsor Safari Park hadn’t prepared me for The Great Wall tobogganing. It’s your choice how fast you go and you cross some pretty narrow long bridges with sharp twists and turns. It was great, exhilarating even and not scary at all.
I’m sure fitness and historical purists will wince at my Great Wall experience but I loved it!