Hey guys, just checking in after an incredible afternoon at the Great Wall of China. The team and staff took a two-hour bus ride from downtown Beijing to a gondola that took us up the Great Wall. I'm not a big fan of heights but the gondola wasn't too bad - the scenery was amazing and it wasn't too long of a trip up the Wall.
Once we got up there, the views were unbelievable. We took a ton of photos and videos as soon as we got off the gondola and then made our way across the wall to take a team photo in the middle of it.
The entire time we were up there, all I could think about was the work it took to build the Great Wall. It's so high and stretches across the country, it's hard to imagine the time put into it. For people to build that, all the way up there, it's pretty incredible for it to still be up today and in that good of condition. Growing up, I remember learning about it in history class and I never thought I'd see it in person so it was incredible. It's one of the most amazing things I've ever seen in my entire life.
Our trip to the Great Wall comes after a few great days in Shenzhen. We had our first official practice as a team on Friday, getting to know the rink. On Saturday, we played our first pre-season game against Boston and I thought it went really well. We got better and better throughout the game and while it would have been nice to get the win, it's good that we could come back and push the game into a shootout.
There were a ton of Flames fans in Shenzhen and we definitely fed off the crowd. Even when we were down by a few goals, they were cheering us on. It was pretty cool to see that many fans in China and that many Flames jerseys in the stands.
I'm really looking forward to the rest of our trip and playing our second game against the Bruins on Wednesday. With how we played on Saturday, we have a good foundation to build off of.