May 18, 2008

長城 - The Great Wall

-Dad hiking the Great Wall of China. Notice the great MEC backpack!-

Stretching over 6,700 km in total, the Great Wall is one of the most recognized structures on Earth. Built between 200 BC and1600, its intent was to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire from unwelcome invaders.

-The Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall, China.-

-Mom and I posing by an old canon that was used to ward off enemies from the north.-

It is said that at one time the Wall was guarded by more than one million men. It is also recorded that an estimated 2 - 3 million Chinese died while pursuing the completion of the many sections of this magnificent wall.

-The top of this section of the Great Wall. Look how steep the stairs are!-

-The Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall, China.-

After a two hour drive from Beijing's city center, we were excited and filled with anticipation as we reached the base of the lofty, rugged mountains on which the Wall is perched. As we stepped out of the taxi we were greeted by hundreds of desperate vendors. We pushed on to the gondola, amidst the commotion, and looked up to see the ancient Wall stretching as far as we could see.

-Mom and Dad standing on the Great Wall of China.-

-The Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall, China.-

None of us were disappointed. Unlike other over-touristy areas of the Great Wall, Mutianyu was relatively unvisited. Once reaching the Wall and leaving the noisy sellers behind, much of the day we hiked in relative solitude. We found the day to be an amazing time to take in where we were and what we were doing.

-The Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall, China.-

-The un-restored section of The Great Wall.-

Mutianyu, the section that we visited, began in the southeast and snakes on towards the Northwest for approximately 2.25 kilometers. While most of it has been restored, the end section at the peak of the highest mountain has been virtually untouched for hundreds of years.

-We figured that they would build both sides of the wall and then fill it with rubble. This would account for what you see in this picture.-

-One of the few vendors, who was actually on the Great Wall, packing it in for the night.-

Wikipedia: Great Wall of China at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_great_wall


Dave and Karalee said...

That is amazing! I hope to visit there someday!

jeff said...

Completely agree. When we went to the Great Wall, our first trip was to the Badaling section, which, incidentally, is one of the most visited sections of the Great Wall. I felt like it was such a letdown... like, this is it. What was all the hype about?

But we gave it another chance and we took a trip to a remote part of the wall and we walked 10km from Jinshanling to Simatai. Four hours among crumbling ruins and we only encountered one other group. It was amazing!! This was much more of what I had envisioned. I'm glad you had such a positive experience too!

Edith said...

You write very well.

The Olson's said...

Thank you!!