Unfortunately I went back to my jetlag schedule and woke at 3a. At least I had time to work out (which I regretted later!) and watch some Mad Men before a conference call. Then it was off to the Great Wall of China.
I had a private car, which is pretty standard, for 700 RMB (or $100). It took about 1:45 to get there, an hour of which was fighting through the Beijing traffic. At about Ring Road 5 (there area a series of highways around Beijing, numbered 1-6) everything changed and became non-city. I went to Mitianyu, which is supposed to be less touristy. Still, the approach is lined with stalls selling souvenirs with aggressive merchants. I was very surprised to come upon a camel in the midst of the vendors.
It cost 110 RMB to get into the area and ride the cable car up and down
At the top, you can go right a short way to another cable car or left up the mountain to a view of a lake in the distance. I went left, and eventually climbed up to the writing on the mountain
It's a long steep climb
But the views are amazing
One of the things I like about other countries is that theyre overly concerned with safety, for example this ledge with no rail. Its on you if you fall.
At the top I was rewarded with this vista, with the lake in the background. And also with tired legs.
Down was a lot easier than up, and by then Id made friends with a mother and daughter visiting from San Jose, so the descent went quickly. Back in the car I was back at the hotel by 2p.
I've started and/or run too many venture capital-backed software companies, plus one ill-fated food startup.