Great Wall of China

From Diary from China -- Wednesday, August 10, 2005

We could see the wall curving along the tops of the steep, steep hills – COOL! We walked through a little village to get to the gate, paid our fee and went up a lot of stairs to reach ... a locked gate! On the other side we saw about a dozen tourists coming down from the hill and piling into an air-conditioned van. I took a picture of Stephan at the gate with the van pulling out on the other side [photo to the right – Stephan has the fried rice that was our "walking dinner" that day].

Anyway, even though we couldn’t get close, it really was worth the trip to see the REAL Great Wall. This section was built by a guy who took such meticulous care that each inch of Wall took one person’s day’s labor. Because it went so slowly, he was beheaded (yikes – talk about quality control!) but later was “rehabilitated” by decree because his section of the wall was so well built.

It indeed looked pretty good, most of it was overgrown with trees and bushes but you could see the rectangular stones along the sides, and in the section that turned and headed down the hill toward us, the middle was visible. We were at the sides of a river where the hill went up at about a 60-degree angle. The Wall followed the ridges up to the steep craggy part that dropped down to the river, and ended there, then picked up again on the hill on the other side of the river.

[Above] From this angle, the two sides of the wall can be seen coming from the top of the hill and going down along the ridge. We are looking at the top of the wall where people used to walk – it is now covered with bushes or trees.

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