We went to the Great Wall on the morning of national day, October 1st. A man from our hotel drove us all the way there, about an hour to the north from Beijing. Other guests at the hotel came too. Most of them were from Germany. The hike up to the wall took us 30 minutes, and then we walked along the top for three hours. Visibility was poor that morning, but the wall was great. It felt amazing to be in such a famous place. Several vendors were selling snacks along the wall, but prices were high for the convenience. Some of the steps on the wall were extremely steep. It took a lot of effort to get to tower 1, the furthest and highest part of the wall at our location, but the view from it was great. The sky started to clear and we all took some great pictures. Luke, Josh, and I sat down at this furthest point, and we had a mini picnic rest. I ate Tuōshuǐ xiāngjiāo piàn (dehydrated banana slices). We met many awesome people at this spot. The walk down was much easier, and we met up with our hotel group for lunch at 12:39 (9 minutes were lost when we walked too far). We drove back to the hotel after the meal. The wall started to get much busier.
That evening we went to the 2008 Olympic stadium. The whole area was extremely busy, and we had to go through security to get in. The big buildings were closed, but they were all brightly colored. There were many shops selling souvenirs, and street salesmen were showing off their light up merchandise. One young man was playing guitar for money.