For this post I am going to let the photographs do most of the talking.
Through the hostel I was staying at, I booked a ride for Ian and I to see the Great Wall of China. Based on the advice of many who had gone before, I chose a section of the wall further out from the city, one of the unrestored portions of the wall that would be less busy with tourists and people selling souvenirs.
After some discussion we settled on the Jinshanling to Simatai portion of the Great Wall, a three hour drive from the city. We left at 8:30, spent 4 hours on the wall hiking 7km through 22 guard towers.
This portion of the wall is best known for three reasons:
1.) It is, as I mentioned, one of the unrestored section of the wall open to the public
2.) Its architecture includes some of the obstacles the Chinese designed in the wall to throw off Mongolian attacks including trick entrances to some of the 22 guard towers.
3.) It was hit during WWII by the Japanese and the rubble remains for you to walk through.
Hiking the Great Wall was truly the most incredible thing I have experienced. I felt lucky to have Ian with me as I felt compelled to keep turning around to say “Oh my goodness – can you hardly believe this?” This is a tourist attraction that lives up to the hype and is quite breath taking. The overwhelming scale of the project, (the wall stretches 10 000 km, winding across the country and took 200 years to build – talk about commitment!) the history and the beautiful surroundings contribute to the awe the wall evokes.
This was the highlight of my time in China. Enjoy the photos.