So close your eyes and imagine a Manchurian hunting lodge nestled beside the Great Wall of China. Think about wild horses and barking dogs and the smell of smoky Mongolian BBQ. Think about still waters and stone walkways and pagoda lanterns lighting your pathway. That's where we stopped next after staying a night in downtown Beijing.
I spoke too soon. Internet service became really spotting after leaving central Beijing so my posts are a little behind. So to catch you up on my travels, we decided to go about an hour north of downtown Beijing and stay at this fantastic ranch in Yanxi Township, Huairou District. Naturally staying at this ranch brought little desire to get online. It felt like I was miles north in Mongolia, but this place is still technically in Beijing. The city of Beijing is huge, it just never ends.
The whole idea behind this place is to take ruins from buildings torn down and integrate them into this hotel. Above is our own little lodge we stayed in for two days.
So we loved the idea that this place preserve relics and pieces of buildings that have been torn down over the years. There are actual parts of the Great Wall dating to the first emperor Qin Shi Huangdi that are in this former hunting lodge horse stable and animal sighting pavilion. This is where we ate all our meals.
As you can see, it was a beautiful retreat from the crazy crowds on the more touristy parts of the Great Wall. Though our toilet broke and the bed was rock hard, and I couldn't bare to hear more new age Mongolian horse music while eating my meals, you can't beat staying at a place like this and feeling so far away from New York City.
And, certainly nothing can describe climbing the Great Wall and seeing this amazing structure. I didn't once think about my "Great Uterine Wall" when looking out across this vast wonder. That's progress.