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Hiking photos - Swedish Embassy, 2011/04/14

This hike starts in a small village that is home to the Dragon and Phoenix trees, two pine trees that are said to be about 300 years old. From this village we started a gradual ascent up a valley floor until we reached an arch in the Great Wall which the trail passes through.

This section of the Great Wall is quite steep and partially unrenovated, so it presents a challenge for those who choose to hike up for better views rather than relax. But the scenery is well worth it, with views of the Huanghuacheng reservoir as well as a section of Great Wall that rises steeply on the other side of the valley beyond. After taking a break at this high section, we hiked back down to rejoin the rest of the group in the valley that we’d originally hiked up.

Refreshed after this short excursion, we continued to hike gradually up the valley, passing orchards and walking parallel to a high section of Great Wall as we continued on our way toward the walled village. Upon our arrival there, we climbed up the stairs to the top of the wall surrounding the village; from there we could look down on most of the buildings before going down into the village for a closer look. After taking some photos of the centuries old buildings there, we went to get a hearty Chinese lunch before heading back to the city.

, Beijing Hikers Swedish Embassy, April 14, 2011

The wide variety of beautiful flowers in bloom was one of the highlights of today’s hike.

, Beijing Hikers Swedish Embassy, April 14, 2011

There were small, delicate flowers growing in the most unlikely places.

, Beijing Hikers Swedish Embassy, April 14, 2011

Some members of the embassy staff enjoying a break in the sun.

, Beijing Hikers Swedish Embassy, April 14, 2011

Our walk took us past fruit tree orchards

, Beijing Hikers Swedish Embassy, April 14, 2011

Our hike paralleled a section of the Great Wall, seen up high on the ridge in front.

, Beijing Hikers Swedish Embassy, April 14, 2011

Ming Dynasty inscriptions on the Great Wall.

, Beijing Hikers Swedish Embassy, April 14, 2011

The orchards had already started to bloom.

, Beijing Hikers Swedish Embassy, April 14, 2011

The clear skies allowed us to have beautiful views of the surrounding hills.

, Beijing Hikers Swedish Embassy, April 14, 2011

The impressive views of the Great Wall were enhanced by all of the trees in bloom.

, Beijing Hikers Swedish Embassy, April 14, 2011

Cherry, peach, and apricot trees are the main ones blooming in this area, with pink and white flowers.

, Beijing Hikers Swedish Embassy, April 14, 2011

We followed the length of the Great Wall along a path in the valley for most of the distance to the walled village.

, Beijing Hikers Swedish Embassy, April 14, 2011

It was a great day for photos.

, Beijing Hikers Swedish Embassy, April 14, 2011

The embassy group enjoys an easy, relaxing stroll along a flat section of trail.

, Beijing Hikers Swedish Embassy, April 14, 2011

This section of hillside was covered with new green leaves as well as cherry blossoms.

, Beijing Hikers Swedish Embassy, April 14, 2011

A lakeside resort near the trail.

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