I never dreamed in my life I would walk on the Great Wall of China. Totally outrageous for a girl like me.
We met the most random group of people for this trip that was arranged by Zinch-China [a company we partner with]. The group included a great recruiter from ASU – Arlene, Andy from Mary Baldwin – a private womens college in Virginia, We also had 2 tagalongs – Richard who was in place for a college friend & a random Austrailan IT guy named Bruce who noticed we might be headed to the Great Wall gathering together with backpacks and jackets and asked if he could join. We also had a representative from Zinch & 3 Chinese high school students with us. We loaded a large van & drove about an hour out to the Mutianyu section of The Great Wall.
I was in awe seeing it for the first time from the van. We rode a ski lift up to The Wall & started hiking & exploring. It is a lot of hiking – unsure footing & some steep stair climbs & sections. We hiked about a mile of The Wall with lots of pictures. Totally in awe! We took a gondola ride down the slope & sampled some wonderful dried fruit.
We took a break back at our hotel after our Great Wall excursion. After napping for a bit – and hunger hitting us – and energy levels at a low – we decided to eat dinner at the café in the lobby. $25 later we had a no-good ham & cheese sandwich, fries & Evian water.
I was very excited to get a foot massage. I’ve heard they can be spectacular. We had a recommendation of a place right behind the hotel. We took a stroll there and entered the lobby. The lobby was actually the lobby of sketch hotel with the spa being up the neon-lined stairs. We were greeted by 2 gentleman at the spa & we told them we wanted a foot massage – together in the same room. They showed us to our room – which slightly resembled a bad Reno brothel. Terrible wallpaper, lighting, lace Kleenex box coverup – the whole shebang. Nicole & I were dying with the level of kitsch.
They left us in that room & I thought, “Great – They will go get the cute girls in pink uniforms to come out for our foot massage.” NEGATIVE! Both gentlemen came back in the room to soak our feet. I was stuck with a 125 lb, 5 foot nothing, 50 year old sap in a white turtleneck. He massaged my shoulders before starting on my feet. Then he went to town on my feet. This dude worked my legs & feet over to the level of sheer pain at several points. I was sure I’d find bruises the next day. Anything but relaxing.