First Impressions: Football and The Wall

The weather in Beijing has plummeted to this weeks 14 Degrees. Many Chinese people have told me that with a snap of a finger the weather changes, and that is exactly what happened, one day was hot then the next day you are left shivering in your short sleeve shirt.

This weekend has been the best so far in Beijing, on Friday myself and some other friends also completing internships went to an ex-pat bar in Sanlitun called “Smugglers”. It was very good, we then went to a nearby club called Komoda, it had five floors, each with different music. The top one was on a roof top terrace. I have never seen something like it in Ireland, where our tallest building is only 15 floors high!

On Saturday I made my first visit of many, I predict, to Papa Johns for some western Pizza, I’d say it was four times more expensive than your average Chinese meal, but it was worth it, I have no regrets.

On Sunday myself and 12 others ventured off to the Great Wall of China. The particular section we went to was called Mutianyu. It was only a 2 hour bus journey from where I’m living in downtown Beijing. The weather however, was terrible. This did not dampen our spirits.

The Great Wall

We were bombarded by the street vendors all the way up to the entrance, all that could be heard was; “one dolla one dolla”. I thought to myself that $1.00 was very cheap, however I later found out that’s just about all the English they knew!

When we got to the entrance it brought up through a picturesque pond area and then some caves and rooms with artifacts. We just raced through to the stairs, which were endless, and this was all before you even got onto the wall!

Once on the wall, even through the rain, the views were amazing. You could see for miles and it was nothing but trees and rough terrain. We chose to walk towards where there was an end point, as tourists couldn’t walk on the unpreserved part of the wall, thus giving us the opportunity to be able to say, “I walked to the end of The Great Wall!”

The rain and wind persisted as we climbed small steps, big steps, slanted steps, crumbled steps and more steps. We actually had so much fun despite the rain and cold!

The Writing's on the Wall

The Writing’s on the Wall: “Munster” was apparently here

The walk back was worse, wind in face, but the thought of getting a hot drink pushed us through! We were walking for 2 hours until we arrived back safely to the “base camp”.

Football Match at the Stumble Inn

After the Great Wall we got some food at the local Food Republic back in Beijing, followed by an Irish pub called “The Stumble Inn” at which they show all the international football matches.

We watched the Manchester Derby, easily one of the biggest matches of the season. Manchester United vs. Manchester City. A historic moment, City beat United 6-1! A really good atmosphere as we were engulfed the ABU supporters (Anybody but United).

All in all, definitely the type of weekend in Beijing I could get used to!

  • John Allen- CPG Business Intelligence Intern

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