A city of Yesterdays and Tomorrows—Written by Gapyearcloealex

It was 4 am, on the 2nd of september when we arrived in Beijing, the first city of our 42 days trip around China.

For the first two days we would wake up at 4am and hit the many parks of the city and watch the chinese people dance ( and joined them > amazing!), do tai-chi, stretch or play cards).

We visited Beijing on our bikes, it was amazing to ride among the locals and ride really fast on those huge road along the forddiden city at night.
We would get lost which enabled us to discover new places, we had no fixed plans so we would just go ” ou le vent nous mene”. (i.e Where the wind takes us”)

In Beijing, you can really sense that you are in another world from the west, politically and culturaly, chinese flags are everywhere, Mao’s enormous face stands at the centre of the city, policeman are on tianenmen square, not a lot of people speaks english, the food is different and the remaining”hutongs” and beautiful temples contrats with the brand-new skyscrapers.

At 10 pm on the 3rd day, we packed and took a 2 hour bus to a small village called “Gubeikou” near the Great Wall ( Jinshanling, a less touristy area of the wall because it hasn’t been renovated yet) and stayed in a hostel.

At sunset we climbed one of the 3 “roads” to the wall and got lost on it for one hour.
When we finally reached the wall, the view was just breathtaking, there stood mountains and mountains on the horizon, the sky was turnning orange and pink, the sun was slowly coming down and you could see the wall stretching for miles, it was one of the most beautiful moment we ever experienced!
We walked on the wall for a while wandering, then we met a group of 4 canadians and french guys who were going to sleep on the wall! (and later also a couple) (yes apparentely it is possible!), unfortunately we couldn’t joined them cause ther was an american girl with us and didn’t know the way down.

After having promised ourselves to come back and sleep up there one day, we took our sleeping bags and slept outside our dorm, on the terrace of the hostel to look at the stars (also because we had no watch, no phone, no computer to wake us up at 4.30 am, (in order to go back and see the sunrise).
And as it turns out, the light in the earliest hours of the day is a effective and natural alarm clock

The sunrise was magical also!
We took another road from the previous night and walked the part we hadn’t walked on, we crossed roads with the 4 guys again (cold night up there for them) we had breakfast on the top, and we screamed with all our souls at the mountains (we had always wanted to do that!),
it was just amazing.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay a day longer, we had a night train to Shangai at 8 🙂

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