Day 18 Morning Hike 早晨爬长城
Please see the post from Abdul
The early bird catches the worm. And caught the worm we did. Today we set out from our villagers home at 3:40 to go see the breath-taking sunrise from the Great Wall of China. It was absolutely pitch black at night with nothing but our flashlights and tour guide to guide us. We were all thrilled to go see the sunrise but little did we know that the journey would be so difficult. The hour long walk was slippery and bumpy; and it also required intense perseverance. As we climbed the mountain, several people fell, slipped, or simply got tired. Nonetheless, we continued through as the sunrise waits for no one.
After about several falls and an hour of walking, very slim light started to peak out the sky. We had not made it yet to the top, but we were very close. Emotions were lighting up as we started to see hints of sunlight. Then, we finally made it. I, for one, was surprised when we got to the top because it was not like the wall we traditionally saw in pictures. There wasn't really a flat surface to stand on nor a barrier surrounding the ledges. In fact, to get to the other side of the platform we had to hug a wall for our dear lives. Because of this natural wall, we all agreed that it intensified the view's allure and made the trip even better.
After we all reached the top, we sat in silence with our phones out, waiting to capture the sunrise's beauty. And Oh was it beautiful! Never have I seen anything as awe-inspiring and breath taking as that sunrise. Words and pictures could never capture what any of us saw that day. We tried to save the moment with our phones, but no angle did it justice. In that very moment of our lives, our eyes were truly blessed.
After waiting and admiring the scenery for a while, some of the group ventured off to a higher point on the wall, about 20 minutes away. There, our heads touched the clouds and we saw the fruits of our labor. The view was just right to just sit in or take epic photos. And so we did.
As we reluctantly descended the mountain, we realized that it would be much harder coming down than it was coming up. Even with the sunlight guiding us this time, the road was very slippery and unnatural (as in there were no steps). Many people got cuts, few lost their shoes, and some, actually just me, sprained their ankle. However, it was unequivocally all worth it.
Despite people making it back to the villagers home at separate times, we all made it in time for breakfast. We were served corn, fruits, rice, bread buns, soup, and noodles. They all tasted amazing especially after just hiking for two hours.
Not long after we ate breakfast, we departed for our trip back to Vienna hotel. Because we had waken up so early,-- or some people did not sleep at all-- many people fell asleep on the bus. After arriving to the hotel, we were told that the rest of the day was to ourselves. We could go to the Beijing zoo, shopping or just sleep. I chose the last option as my day consisted of mainly sleeping, going out for lunch and dinner, and finishing my project. Oh and I can't forget: writing this blog too!