The next morning I went to the Summer Palace where i spent the afternoon enjoying a quiet walk around the Chinese tour groups and had a few beers with a Canadian I met during my stroll. At 8pm I met Goetz for dinner at the same restaurant where I met his girlfriend Mary. I dined like a king again while we made plans for the coming days. At 8 A.M I was waiting in the subway and made my way to the Lama Temple which is one of the most significant temples in China. There are several temples and statues throughout the complex but at the back inside the last structure is a Buddha statue carved out of one piece of Sandalwood, this is a towering statue at around 26M tall. After an hour in the temple I met Goetz and we drove out to the Mutianyu section of The Great Wall which is well restored in one direction and has been left to the elements in the other. This was my second experience on the Chinese Motorways, the drivers are crazy, it’s like playing an old arcade game dodging obstacles and surprisingly i didn’t see any accidents despite watching people overtaking each other using the Lay by. The section of the Wall wasn’t as tourist filled as the others but was still well maintained for the most part. We walked up the largest steps I had seen in china through several of the outlook towers until we came to a no entry sign, this only served as some entertainment for us, I even took a photo. Beyond the sign there was no paved road, no steps, just towers that were crumbling due to the effects of time. After a mile or so we hit a cliff and spent some time looking into the distance at the towers on the opposite hill. The Great Wall is visible from space and you can look at pictures and read about the history but it has to be seen to be believed. When we made our way back to the car we couldn’t resist taking the commercial and touristy toboggan run to the bottom, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t really enjoy it, we held back letting people in front of us and giving them a long head start before charging down at full speed. The attendants on the sloped didn’t appreciate this but what were they going to do, give us a ticket, throw themselves in front of us. I think not. We hit such speeds we caught up on the group we let go in front of us.
It was mid afternoon and we left for my uncle’s house where we split a few bottles of wine before going to a traditional Mongolian restaurant for dinner. We were joined by one of his law professors. The food and the conversation were good but after dinner is when the night really began. Goetz and I went to a bar where we watched a live Mongolian band on stage and joined one of Goetz’ girlfriend, one of his old friends and another couple, all from Germany. It got messy! We went through beers, a good few whiskeys each and then the tequila started. We didn’t end the night there either, we changed venue and ended up in a night club where not only did the flow of whisky for Goetz and I continue but the Moet started to flow as well. I had a brilliant time!
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