exploring the Great Wall

They have stepped foot on the Great Wall.  

After today's adventure the kids think we can go home.  We have their brother, they've seen the Olympic village and they've hiked on what may be the most recognized fortress structure in the world.  For them we've checked the bucket list of this trip...

Mu Tian Yu is one of several restored sections of the wall.  The advantage of this area over Ba Da Ling is that there are far fewer people because many Chinese go to Ba Da Ling because that section is slightly older.

We were happy to take less crowds and once the kids heard that they could slide down?  Well, it was all over then.

Of course before you can come down, you must go up.  I'll admit that riding a ski lift with a tiny child who doesn't speak my language gave me heart palpitations.  He was so excited and kept sliding to the front of the seat and so I told Darcy to sit back and hold on and I kept hands on him at all times...he easily could have slipped right out.

Daniel rode with Ian in front, Caleb rode with Grant, I had Nicholas and DQ, Kylie rode with Mama and Natalie enjoyed her ride with Candie.  Thank goodness for extra adults...

Then it was time to climb.  The little one insisted on walking for a bit, but the combo of altitude and the exertion quickly did him in.

We stopped for a bit at the first tower to admire the view and let him catch his breath.

Thankfully, as our cardiologist suggested, with rest his heart will self regulate and after a snack and some water his oxygen saturation was back to his normal and we set off again at a slower pace...after a few family pictures of course.


This is my sixth trip to the Great Wall and each time I am struck by the sheer size of it.  The number of people it took to construct and man the wall during the time it was actually used is mind boggling.

Nicholas quickly learned that he could walk a bit and then would turn to either Ian or I to be carried for a while.

Just when I'd think we had gone far enough, I'd look up and there he was, pressing on with his siblings as if he had a fully healthy heart.

We didn't have to worry about him getting too far ahead of us on stairs though...usually he'd need a lift halfway up.

We hiked for nearly an hour and then decided to head back to meet Candie.

It was hot, but thankfully not humid.

Because hiking the Great Wall is enough exertion all on its own.  Hiking the Great Wall with a child in arms kicks it up a notch!

About halfway back we broke out the chips.

Next we celebrated our successful hike with a little ice cream.

And then came the moment we all had been looking forward to...riding the toboggan down!  In the past we've always had too high a ratio of little kids to adults, but this time we had three kids over the age of ten that could ride on their own.  Ian and Natalie led the crowd with Nicholas and I hot on their tails.  Behind us was Daniel with Grant and then everyone else went on their own.  I learned a bit about my new son on that ride...he is a thrill seeker for sure.  Once he figured out that when I pushed the "joystick" forward we would go faster he kept pushing on my hands to get us to full speed.  You could hear whoops of joy as our crowd barreled down the mountain.  So fun!

The walking, sun, excitement and full bellies from a good lunch took it out of us though and we had a quiet ride back to the city.

Or so I heard...


Laurie said...

I just love how each of your trips are SO different, depending on where you are, who is with you, personalities of the kids..... it's SO fun to follow along!! I can't name a real favorite, since I loved them all, but the one of DQ alone on the wall. There is just something about that always capture her in the coolest ways! I can't wait to see what tomorrow holds!

Glenda said...

That last picture gave me chill bumps! We miss you all terribly! The kids have stated such many times in the past few days. I love reading about your journey!