Benjamin Westlake

Blog 025

2017, July 22nd

The Adventure of a life time has started... over the next two weeks I am off first to Beijing then secondly to North Korea... Yes you read that right, not South, But NORTH KOREA.....
This lucky sodd over here managed to get a Business Class return with British Airways for less than an economy return.. figure that one out...

Back at LHR and off to the Busniess Lounge, I never knew that they had showers, so I took advantage off this! It was one of those showers where it has the rainfall shower head and all of the surrounding jets that hit you everywhere.
I like this luxuary life, buffet bar for all food and drink!

My seat on the plain OMG! It turns into a bed, I can lie flat, they have just brought me Shampaigne over...
Time For Some Rest! This 11 hour journey is going to be hard in this luxuary bed on a plain..

Landling in Beijing im not sure what to expect, You can feel the warm humid air hit you as you step off the plain.
I may have got the hotel to pick me up, so when I walked out of arrivals I had a hilton sign with my name on it, a lush Audi A7 picked me up and took me the 1 hour into the city.
Arriving at the hotel I am so tired! But I am wisked up to their Exexcutive floor to sort my room out, and get a free cookie!
I had to sit around for an hour as they prepaired my room as I arrived before the check in time but they got me in asap.
See the view from my room below!

Today I just had a day where I explored locally and got my bearings, withing the area there was a little shopping mall and a McDonalds..
It wasnt until the next morning that I got up and got myself out exploring properly, I found my way to the nearest subway station and managed to get myself a card for the subway.
I am not really sure where I ended up but below is a picture of a street I stumbled across.

Over the next couple of days I continued to explore the city, I found myself in the center at Tiananmen Square which was full of hustle and bussel from all of the tourests coming to the capital, there was a little tranquil park called Zhongshan Park which was a Garden in the city, so peacefull and tranquil.

One of my final days before the next step of the adventure was to visit the Great Wall, This is somewhere that has been on my bucket list for a long time.
I got the train from Huangtdian Station to Badling (The Great Wall), which took around 1.5 hours to get there. Unfortunatly there were no seats so I had to sit in the joining of the carages by the doors.
Finaly I have arrived but cannot see the wall yet...
Following the rest of the tourests and the signs left out of the station and along the road, you walk along the path with the steet lined with shops, all suevenior and food shops.
I can start to see it..
Looking up the street is a gate house with an arch that you walk under, this is my first sight of the wall.
Walking up the steps to the wall I can choose to go left or right, everyone is going right so I go left and walk as far up as I can go, at one stage there was just me on this stage of the wall which was cool so I decided to get some pics below:

Starting to walk back to the mid section the path was very steap on the way down so I had to watch my step, going up the right path this time it was so busy, loads of people just stopping to take photos but stopping sharply, I have no clue how many people I walked into.
I to the top and I got to ride down to the bottom on a sled train which was cool.
I did feel a little bit disapointed that when at the bottom there was bears in a dropped down enclosure almost permforming for the tourests. Not Impressed..

The real adventure begins today, I make my way to Beijing Railway Station to meet the rest of us going to the DPRK!
The instructions were to meet under the right clock tower, Looking around I am not sure what or who I am looking for but see two other western people so go over and start talking to them, they are on the tour too. More and more westoners turn up and we start to stand out more than we already did, a group of 40 white westoners in the middle of Beijing...
We are getting the night train from Beijing to Dandong, which is a 16 hour night train..
Wish me luck..

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