Great Wall of China at Mutianyu

A 12-hour day of travelling and sightseeing.

What a fabulous day we've had! We set off at 7am for the Great Wall of China, arriving about 8.30. A short gondola ride took us up to Tower No.15 at Mutianyu - supposedly one for the best stretches of the wall for walking and photographs. We walked to Tower No.20 - quite a challenge in the hot sun, especially the very steep last section of about 1,000 steep steps. The main blip is taken from near the top, looking back - we'd walked from almost the furthest bit of the wall which you can see in the photo (large quantities of water were consumed, not to mention a very welcome iced lolly). The views, as you can see, were magnificent with the haze on the receding hills in the background.

I have a propensity for photographing dead insects, so as the (living) cicadas were making quite a racket I couldn't resist photographing the dead one I found on the wall at the very top! It was about as long as my thumb.

After a disgustingly large Chinese banquet lunch to restock our energy reserves we then went to the Summer palace at Beijing. The origins of this UNESCO World Heritage Site date back to the Jin dynasty in 1153 but it was much expanded by the Qianlong Emperor as a gift to celebrate his mother's 60th birthday in about 1749. So it's been added to and renovated on several occasions. Highlights include Longevity Hill and the large artificial Kunming Lake.

The second extra is part of one of the buildings which I liked best, and the third extra is the 17-arch stone bridge across part of the lake to one of the three islands on the lake. The evening light at the bridge was gorgeous.

Finally it was back to the hotel to relax, and pack for our ongoing travels tomorrow (and to blip, of course!).

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