Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I Made it to the Great Wall!
I had the pleasure of accompanying Mayor Bill Bogaard and others in an official delegation on a 10-day trip to China in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Pasadena's sister city relationship with the Xicheng District of Beijing.
We departed LAX at 1:40 a.m. Saturday, June 19, and arrived in Beijing at 5:20 a.m. the next day. We couldn't check into the hotel at that hour, so we headed to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall -- a two-hour drive from Beijing. Hey, why not? The weather was cool at that hour of the morning and the tourist trade hadn't gone into overdrive yet.
And then I got off the little tour bus and blew out my left knee and tore ligaments in my right leg. (More on that later.)
So there I was at the bottom of the mountain, determined to get to the top where the Great Wall is, with a bum knee, steep cobblestoned inclines and flights of stairs with no railings -- and that was just to get to get to the aerial tramway that would take us to the top!
Not one to be deterred, I did it! I told the others to head on up without me. Then, in the company of Liu Yi of Xicheng District's Human Resources Department, who served as my guide and cheerleader, I began the trek.
She shot the photo of me that you see at the top of this post. I was completely exhausted and in excrutiating pain, yet filled with an unbridled sense of accomplishment.
More on the China trip tomorrow.