After the interesting speeches yesterday evening we looked forward to visiting the Bird’s Nest (Olympic Stadium) and the Great Wall.
In the morning rush hour we drove by coach to the Olympic City were we admired the very impressive national stadium which was constructed by the Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron. From the outside the building looks like a bird’s nest – that’s also the reason for its nickname. It offers seats for 90’000 spectators. It is very prominent situated as it lies on the line of the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. The Olympic aquatic centre, which is also well known for its impressive architecture, is situated next to the national stadium. Both buildings are placed in a generous park area which would be difficult to build in these dimensions in Switzerland.
Afterwards, we drove on the newly built highway to Jinshanling. It took about 2 hours to reach this small village, which is situated next to the Great Wall. During the journey, we could see the hilly countryside and gain an impression of the life outside the city.
Arrived in Jinshanling, it could not be avoided to buy souvenirs from the persistent locals and many of us bought a traditional Chinese hat. With a very old fashioned and slow cable car we reached the first tower of the Great Wall. From there we started our hike to Simatai. The 10 kilometres walk took us around 3 hours through gorgeous scenery. The beginning was exhausting since the temperatures were around 35 degrees and the way was very steep.
A long the way we passed around 30 defence towers and a lot of souvenir dealers followed us kilometres. At the end of the tour the tough ones slid with high speed on an iron rope over a canyon back to the parking lot of our coach.
We will never forget the extraordinary experience we had on the impressiveGreat Wall which is with its 8’851.8 kilometres the largest building in the world.