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I am here in Beijing with Laurence – a colleague from the UK.


Yesterday we did the unthinkable – and booked ourselves on an organised tour to the Great Wall.

First stop – the Ming Tombs – about 50km North West of Beijing itself.


As you can see it was drizzling and foggy.

Next stop – after lunch and shopping – was the Great Wall at Ba Da Ling itself.

We drove for just a few minutes and from nowhere Tolkeinesque mountains started to loom up through the mist. Very impressive.

We arrived and the snow started falling. I wanted to get a geocache – so we took the less travelled and much much steeper southern part of the wall.


As you can see – almost whiteout conditions.

The climb up was just slippery; going down was part farce, part winter sport. I’ll post a video of that later!

Here is a view during the summer to show the difference:

Finally – back into a very very wet Beijing for the evening.

We decided to avoid the local delicacies on sale in the hutong – pictures of those soon – but it was a festival – so fireworks, firecrackers – and kids with sparklers.