We do Christmas hikes every year, and because Christmas 2014 was on a Thursday (when a lot of people in China have to work) we added another Christmas-time hike on the 27th, for those who couldn't make it on the 25th.
As always, it was great fun! The hike took us along scenic stretches of Great Wall, and the air temperature was unusually mild for a December in Beijing.
After finishing the hike we headed on to a nearby restaurant for a big meal , and a the dumpling-making competition!
This year we had three categories of prizes: Most Traditional Dumpling; Most Artistic Dumpling; and Most Dumplings in total
After a dumpling-making demonstration, we start the stopwatch and the competition is on!
We hiked up a trail to the Great Wall at Gubeikou.
We followed the 'wild' Great Wall through the hills.
The tower just below is where we got on to the wall; sometimes we hike from further along.
We hiked up to the high tower on the hill in the background.
Looking back along the trail.
Midway, we made a detour through farmland, and passed some handsome goats.
We passed this flat point on the way back to the Great Wall. Not shown: the super view of Great Wall just over the hill!
The trail took us further along the Great Wall to finish at Jinshanling.
We hiked down from this tower.
The dumpling-making competition has begun!
Put the filling in the middle and squeeze it just right.
Just like that!
The winner in the 'Most Traditional Dumpling' category.
Joined by the winner for 'Most Dumplings'!