Gubeikou (古北口) fits the bill perfectly. It's one of the easier sections to hike, it typically draws few tourists, and the surrounding landscape is spectacular. It's only a few short hours from Beijing, so if the Great Wall is on your travel radar, Gubeikou is a great section to consider visiting.
Katie and I had an amazing month of trekking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal. Along with the gorgeous scenery and the extreme physical challenge of hiking to the 5416-meter Thorung Pass, the people were the highlight of our trek. Those who lived along the trail were extremely friendly, as were the other trekkers we met. And among them were today's guests, Martijn and Manon. We made some time a few days after finishing our trek to record a podcast and reminisce our month in the mountains.
Iceland was nearly a bust. Katie and I had a miserable first day, losing our shirts to the ridiculously pricey public transportation and spending the afternoon shivering and soaking wet from pouring rain. But then the sky cleared and we had an amazing two-day hike, from Skógar to Þórsmörk, between the fantastically-named Tindfjallajökull and Eyjafjallajökull volcanoes. The scenery was beautiful, the company friendly, the weather perfect. On our last day in the country, we returned to the airport, elated to have visited.
Having lived in Beijing for the last three years, Katie and I have visited the Great Wall many times. Contrary to popular belief, the Great Wall isn't one continuous wall. There are many sections; some have eroded to almost nothing, others remain relatively intact, and still others that have been completely restored to their former glory. My favorite sections (as you probably guessed) are un-restored, yet still hike-able.
2016: what the year! Though I spent most of 2016 in China, I did manage to travel to a few other countries. This blog entry, as well as the next two, will be a recap of where I went and what I did last year.