If you visit Orlando, you go to Disney World. When you visit Beijing, you must make a trek to the Great Wall. On a beautifully sunny day, we made sure to cross that off our list before our first month was over.
The Huangyaguan section of the Wall is about two hours from Beijing (three if you take a "shortcut"). A road approaches the Wall in a river valley. We easily gained access to the Wall, but it was literally all uphill from there.
I continued beyond the restored section to stone steps climbing the side of the mountain, surrounded by vegetation. It was so refreshing to step into the cool shade after the radiating heat of the Wall. From a perch high above our starting point, the view was spectacular—mountains around as far as I could see.
And just to make the experience complete, two peregrine falcons soared overhead as I descended.