Friends in our church branch found out that we hadn’t been to the Great Wall all together. I took the kids with the WAs last June, and B went last August on a school field trip. They were super nice and offered us their van and driver on a day they could do without him. Basically, due to driving restrictions (the husband can’t drive on Mondays and the driver can’t drive on Fridays and has the weekends off) we had to pick a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday for B to call in sick. We also wanted to have nice weather and clean air. We’d decided on Thursday, May 19 when Little Guy threw up that Monday night. Then he threw up more on Tuesday and more on Wednesday. He was mostly recovered, and none of our kids had ever been sick (still puking sick) more than a couple of days so Thursday morning, we decided to go ahead. He carried a bowl (in a grocery bag) on the subway and we rode to their apartment early in the morning to meet their driver (and they loaned us their selfie stick).
We picked the Mutianyu section (less crowded but still close). B had been here before, but the kids and I had gone to Badaling (more crowded, accessible by a surburban train line that hooks up with the subway system). We arrived at the van around 7:30 and arrived at the Great Wall around 9. I miscalculated the cost (and they charged us adult prices for PS and Buddy plus, at Mutianyu we had to payY15 for everyone but Squidgems to ride a tour bus to the cable car area) and we barely had enough money for everything. We’d packed lunches but no water. Luckily we had Y20 left over and B bargained down an overpriced shop owner to get us four waters (still paying double what we’d pay a newstand for water in town). That was a bit stressful. We rode the cable cars up and took the toboggan/slideway down. It turns out the trip down was everyone’s favorite part.
After disembarking the cable car, we headed left (east, I think). There will be a lot of pictures…
There were butterflies and large ants. Squidgems was seriously about to lose it at times due to these bugs freaking him out.
Little Guy had been feeling pukey most of the day (he ended up puking off the Great Wall later in the day) and Squidgems has little legs that get worn out easily, so the two little boys and I hung out in this tower eating snacks while B and the two big kids hiked to a higher up tower.
We finished about an hour before we had planned to meet the driver. Luckily there are a lot of restaurants that looked like they might take a debit card (Chinese) so B went to Burger King (yes, at the base of the Great Wall) and bought everyone a bottle of water and we ate some more snacks/lunch while we waited.
Luckily the only times that Little Guy really couldn’t have thrown up (the cable car, the slideway sled, our friends’ van, the subway train to and from our friends’ apartment) he was able to hold it together. And now he can say he threw up off the Great Wall… not everyone can say that. 😉
We drove back to town past cherry trees full of fruit, found an ATM, put money on our subway cards and trekked back across town on the subway to our apartment. Overall, a successful day.