The Great Wall of China
It looks like some of my posts aren’t making it online so Shannon or Howie are copying and pasting for me. Sorry the photo of Jenny didn’t make it. More of her and her service later.
We awoke to a heavy rain and knew immediately our trip to the most remote choice for the Wall was gone due to slippery conditions. We ended up instead driving to Stefan’s second choice and I am very glad we did. The drive took a little over one hour first on nice highway then two lane roads for the last half hour. We arrived and found the parking lot virtually empty due to the still continuing rain. Jenny found us a couple of ponchos and we headed up to the chairlift for the ride up to the Wall. The cost was 40 yuan for the Wall and 65 for the chairlift (a 1970 style 2 passenger ski lift that had seen its better days) but still got the job done. There is a sliding path coming back down but was closed due to the rain. Once off the lift we still had several flights of stairs to climb actually up the Wall. Still raining but subsiding, I was really excited to fulfill one of our dream destinations. As we stepped onto the Wall I was amazed at the simpleness of the structure. The actual wall is about 14 feet wide with stone walkways in our location and the walls above the pathway were about waist high on me. There are cutouts for viewing and also locations for archers to fling their arrows in safety. The day reminded me of our morning on Maccu Picchu with rain and dense fog. We could not see the surrounding countryside although we knew from the approach and steepness of the Wall that we were on the top of very uneven terrain as there were not any level sections of the wall at all. We headed in one direction and found the going just too steep and recommended not for walking. We took the group photo I’m having difficulty forwarding then turned around to try the other direction. The Wall is approximately 1700 years old in many sections and 7,300 kilometers long. This is a feat of engineering that took many lives and years to complete.
The other direction was still steep, the weather humid to say the least but at least the rain was lessening. We could not see long distances in front of us but at least to the next tower. The crowd was minimal.
After about 20 minutes Jenny held back and Andrew Katy and I continued on to the next tower. The walking is very uneven and the steps are narrow but we pushed ahead for about two more towers.
On our return towards Jenny she motioned us back to her location as the weather and fog were clearing and there was an incredible view of the Wall heading up and off to the top of the next mountain, The trip was all worthwhile at that point as we all marveled at the site before us. It only lasted about 10 minutes before the fog rolled in again and the magnitude and length of the the structure was again shrouded in fo. We had witnessed a site to be seen and experienced by all of you, if only for a minute and have imprinted that scene in our minds forever. It is amazing to say the least.