Trip to the Great Wall of China

Hey everybody,

As I wrote in one of my previous posts, I managed to swap my days off to a Beijing flight. I was the third most senior crew in economy class,which was a pretty cool thing. Before the flight I’ve heard from different sources that Chinese flights are not easy and the customers, well… not from the cleanest type. One thing I definitely learned here that I should never take crew rumors seriously, because all of us have different experiences and many people like to go overboard. The customers were very nice, they were constantly smiling and they were very polite. They were kind of looking at us like we were some celebrities. Most of them didn’t speak English at all, but somehow we still managed to understand each others easily. We arrived late in the evening but it was still traffic outside. After check in, four of us booked a tour to the Great Wall at the concierge and we decided to meet 10 o’clock in the following morning.

The hotels in Asia are usually very nice and well-equipped but this one got me a bit disappointed. The room was old and kind of unfashionable, if I can use the word in this content. Never mind, I had an OK sleep, then I went down for breakfast. Before I joined my airline, I had the plan to try as many international cuisines as possible, but most of the time I stay on the safe side and eat something western. The buffet was full of local dishes but I didn’t have the courage to try any of them. To be honest I don’t have positive experiences with the Chinese cuisine, Hungary is full of cheap and fast restaurants but the quality of the food is usually horrible (I always had diarrhea after eating Chinese meal in Hungary).  Don’t get me wrong, I am sure that these dishes can be made on a fantastic way with delicious and healthy result, specially in 4-5 stars hotels, but I still decided to eat something familiar.

Note: Unfortunately the outdoor photos are in a very poor quality. My mobile phone’s camera is pretty good, however it was too much pollution and humidity, so the camera couldn’t cope with it.

wp-1470145837669.jpgI met the other three girls in the lobby and our driver was already there, waiting for us. We had a fancy Hyundai car with leather seats, but the back was so small and uncomfortable for three adult people. One of the girls was Hungarian and it was so good to talk on my own language. The drive itself was an absolute hell. Our driver was driving like crazy, we all had fear but still I didn’t want to ask him to drive slower, because I think that wouldn’t have made him happy, haha. The Wall was not too far, with big traffic it took less than 1,5 hours to get there. It was so hot outside, none of us prepared for that much heat and humidity. It was much worse than the warmest day in Dubai, specially in long pants and polyester top. Our driver helped us to buy all the tickets we needed and he showed us a cheap and clean place to eat and to buy some water. I also bought a traditional hat for myself, I bargained a lot because at the beginning they asked a ridiculously high price for it.

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First we took a comfortable bus which took us to the cable way. There are two different types, one of them is big and covered (I used the same one in Cape Town) and the other one is only for two people and it’s open, like the one you use for skiing. I have agoraphobia  although It was so much fun. The Wall itself was not too crowded but it was still a big challenge to take a photo without any “photo bombers”. Even though it was unbearably hot, I could climb the stairs without any serious effort, passing by several wheezy and sweaty men, which was a bit funny. Well, those who work out on regular basis have a lot easier job on the Great Wall :P.
To be honest we didn’t spend long time on the Wall. We only passed by three towers when we decided to go back. There was a cool slide down the hill (we simply call it “bob” in Hungary) and there was a very long line for it. I think it took at least 40 minutes to get to the front. The slide was very enjoyable and took long in time, the only thing I didn’t enjoy was the huge dragonflies in my way. It was clearly said and written that holding camera or mobile phone is forbidden, but most people didn’t care. I was so worried to drop my huge phone, so I didn’t take any photos or footage, so unfortunately I don’t have “digital memories”, however I keep it in my mind forever :).

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Now I really regret that I didn’t try some local dish in that cheap and cosy restaurant. Yes, I know that I just mentioned that I was quite mistrustful with the food, however I think that restaurant was pretty okay, many tourists had their lunch there an they had Peking duck, I should have tasted it :S. Otherwise where else?
I had a nice nap in the car (I could even forget we were driving crazy) and when we got back to the hotel we went to Carrefour supermarket, which was only a corner away from the hotel. I was desperately looking for the green tea Kitkat I bought in Singapore but unfortunately they didn’t have it at all. Anyway I bought some green sweets and some facial masks and I didn’t pay much at all. Eventually it was only me and the fellow Hungarian girl who left the supermarket first, the others were still looking around. We went to the very small mall which was in front of the hotel, but we didn’t find anything interesting, so we got back to the hotel. I ironed my uniform, packed my luggage, ordered room service (chicken shawarma) and then I went to the bed to have long and quality sleep before the flight. It was still pretty early (around 7pm) but the wake up call was around 4 am, and I was very exhausted anyway. I was already half sleeping when I heard the rain drops knocking on my window. That was a very good moment, I felt myself so satisfied – laying in my bed while it’s raining outside – specially because I simply love listening the rain drops on any surfaces and because I miss rain so much!

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The flight back to Dubai was easy as well. I had many girls in my area who took photos with me, they were so happy and sweet. However there were two men who tried to take photos of the crew without asking for permission or anything. This is something I really don’t like, it is not a nice thing to do. I understand that I am a cabin crew, I represent my airline and I have all the attention during a flight, so it can easily happen, however I am still human and I have my rights! I don’t mind at all if they ask me and then take the photo ( I actually like it) but if someone is being sneaky, that’s a different situation and it makes those people suspicious.
I went to the cockpit with fellow economy crew when we were above the Himalayas, it was a breathtaking, awesome view, something which is simply inconceivable. The beauty and the power of nature is sometime which is greater than anything else on this planet. On the first two photos you can also see the Mount Everest!
Enjoy the photos!

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I hope you enjoyed my post, have a great day everybody!

Important note: My posts are my personal views. They do not represent the views of my company.

Dorottya

 

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