IMG_6719Leaving the hotel by bus early we made the drive out to the Great Wall…the section called Mutianyu. There were several choices to get up to the wall…cable car or chairlift or of course walking. With only a few hours we chose the cable car and bought a return ticket. What an amazing construction. We walked left for about 2 kms and the last stretch has my legs still screaming. it was a very steep uphill climb…but we did it!


Then it was return to the cable car and walk in the opposite direction. What spectacular views and of course many photos of the great wall. So we didn’t have to retrace our steps, we descended using both the toboggan (Ian) and the chairlift (me) and had time for a quick bit of lunch before our rendezvous time at the bus.


IMG_6775Onwards…we then visited the Ming tombs. The two largest tombs open to the public are Chang Ling and Ding Ling. Both were interesting. The difference is the burial in Ding Ling was underground and the only tomb that has actually ever been opened. We were able to walk down into the underground resting place.

The bus was late back to Beijing and our dinner reservation at Qiamnmen Quanjude Roast duck restaurant we thought was not possible. However arriving at 7.30 for a 6.30 reservation, I was asked if we had one and of course said yes. Glancing to where others were waiting , it appeared the queue numbered about 50! We were instantly shown to a table!IMG_6877

The meal of Peking duck was wonderful and with a chef carving the duck at the table it all added to the event.

Posted in Vulcan on Tour

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Wine and More Wine – OleBilbao OLD and NEW Monday dawned sunny and warm and we headed down to the Guggenheim Museum, even though it is closed we wanted to relish the slick titanium skin, contrasted against the smooth pale limestone blocks. Everything glistened in the bright morning sun, reflections of the curved surfaces bounced off the water surrounding the metal walls and the metallic sculptures in the forecourts around the Guggenheim. Did you know that every surface in the building is curved and there are no straight lines thus emphasising the organic flowing lines of this magnificent Frank Gehry masterpiece Tomorrow we’ll visit this amazing museum along with our Silk Road companions Pat and David who we are travelling with around Spain and Portugal in our trusty MGs. Hop on and off buses have always been a favourite and quick way of acquainting ourselves with a city. We cruised around the narrow streets enjoying the views from the top deck. We were diverted by police a few times into the back streets because of a rally of thousands of people marching along the main thoroughfare of the city. Red, white and Green flags and banners waving, fire crackers exploding, releasing clouds of smoke. How We hopped off a The Mercado de la Ribera one of the largest fresh food markets in Europe and we arrived just in time for some Pintxos which we enjoyed with a beer and Sangria. So many delicious sweet and savoury munchies to choose from – what a treat!

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