James and The Great Wall

This place gets better and better.  I have laughed all day.

Today was amazing. It was our day to see the highlights of Beijing.  So, early start and off to the Great Wall of China. Now I have been to the Great Wall before, but 1,500KM away in the Gobi Desert, or is it dessert, I never know.  But the bit of the wall I saw today was the bit of wall you and I both know.  However when we see the wall in the media it glides over mountains and the grass looks green.  Pollution is so high today we saw very little.

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Now, it was interesting on the bus today when the tour guide said “Beijing is a city full of sunshine” and my interpreter who is Chinese said “Really?”.  This place is grey, grey and um…. grey.

The wall is a hard climb.Its all up hill as the mountains flow.  It was a tough challenge.  At the entrance there was a sign that said “If you have heart or brain disease, please ascend the Great Wall according to your capability”.

Now, William, my little brother, you may have a mountain leader qualification and spend your life up the hills, but today Big Brother did it Chinese Style!  The climb down was horrendous. It felt as though my tibula and fibula were being pushed into my femur.  Sore!  Then the attack happened.  We had to walk past all of the stalls selling crap.  Yes it was pure crap.  Do I look like the sort of chap who requires a delft plate with a protruding great wall?  We passed hundreds of these stalls and the stall holders came running out showing us all of their wares.

Off for lunch. When the Chinese say “local snacks” past experience screams NO!  Well, today was another “very special”….  Everything here is a “very special” something.  This was a very special food (it moved, was not beige, you know the drill….) and was served on a plate that kept the food warm.  They rabbited on about this plate, dear readers, we call it a ‘flask’.

We then arrived at the Forbidden City. It’s huge and the Chinese wanted us to go on a guided tour.  I had read it takes 30 minutes to walk through, but they insisted we heard the historical stories at each building (that all look the same).  It was beautiful, but I left with 2 others as Tiananmen Square was not on the schedule and I wanted to see it.  The Forbidden City was the Emperors home and it is special.  Tiananmen Square is huge, I mean, huge. I’ve been to Trafalgar Square, Red Square and Times Square.  Nothing compares to the size of Tiananmen Square.  I saw the red wall and had my pic taken next to the portrait of Chairman Mao.  One needs to do these things…

Tomorrow I fly for 2 hours to a place called Hunan Provence to present a TV show for a few days.  Google it. It looks beautiful.  I’m presenting one of the “8” Great Foods of China.  Everything here is either, “very special”, “Very famous” or “8”, the number 8 shows wealth.

Best to all

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