Exploring Tianjin

So after seeing the Great Wall, we headed towards Tianjin. It's about 3 and half hours from the Beijing area to Tianjin. This city is the 4th largest in China with a population of 12 million. It's a lot more modern than Beijing with taller towers and different types of food. The city lacked English, but still had more people speaking it rather than Beijing. I still had to use my phone for translation because the cab drivers had no idea what I was saying. Mandarin is one tough language. Even the tiniest bit of mispronunciation throws off the entire word and meaning.   

The reason for visiting Tianjin was because our host Michael works and lives there. He had to work a couple days, so we made a little stop here before we headed south to Shanghai. Please scroll down to see the photos and descriptions.

Huangyaguan Great Wall

So after 2 and half days in Beijing, we left for the Great Wall. My host decided to take us to the Tianjin passing of the wall where there would be fewer people and have room to walk around and take pictures. It was a nice drive from the big city to the countryside where the asphalt becomes dirt and stones. Our trek up to the wall began with a horse ride and I felt really bad for them because of the walk being so steep. Not only did I feel bad for the horses, but they were led by the workers who owned them walking by their sides. Once we reached the wall, I gladly tipped the workers and horses because they looked exhausted as I casually got off my ride sweat free.

That part was easy, what came next was very grueling. I always imagined the Great Wall as a cakewalk. Not even close. I was unprepared for what my short lower torso was about to go against. Very steep tall steps. It was almost like I was walking up 90 degrees. I even dressed for very windy cold weather when really I just ended up taking off my coat at one point because I was so sweaty and hot. It was rough. 

There were a couple things I learned while I was up there. The Great Wall is not one continuous wall because it's broken up into multiple sections and even though this part of the wall was restored in some areas, I wouldn't recommend visiting if you have some type of physical disability. However, it may sound like I'm posting a negative view here, but if you travel to China, you have to visit the wall. It was absolutely breathtaking and  beautiful.