Ruined Badaling Great Wall ( now officially named Ancient Badaling Great Wall )
Off to the Great Wall! Badaling area is the most common area where all dignitaries are seen and where the wall has been rebuilt. It is 6700 kilometers long. After hours of steep climbing with thousands of our "closest" friends, we drove about 10 more kilometers passing by a subdivision of beautiful large new homes (farmer’s homes) to Ruined Badaling, the wall that has not been rebuilt and is much less crowded. Wow!! This was the highlight of the day. It seemed as if we were the only ones there. In reality there were about 5-6 others hiking the wall around us but we hardly encountered them. Surprisingly, our tour guide and driver had never been. It was so quiet and peaceful while we were climbing the steep rocky steps for several hours. The tour guide and I called it quits when we climbed the 2023rd step (not sure how many steps we had climbed at that point-where’s my pedometer?) but T wanted to push on through to the top of one of the guardhouses. As we waited on the steep steps, T ventured on by himself to the top and then some. After about 5 or so minutes, I yelled his name and no response. After I called his name multiple times, I climbed closer to the top and saw him quite a ways away. He said he had to walk carefully around the ice on several steps and just had to see what was at the top. As we all walked back, we were moaning with different aches and pains. Boy, we’d be sore the next day!