Sunday, November 15, 2009


In my last post about this trip (and presumably the first you'll read) I will leave you with two photos of The Great Wall. There are two places from Beijing to see the Wall, the first, Badaling, is only 45 minutes away from the city. The one we went to, Mutianyu, is an hour-and-a-half away. For us it was about twice that long as our driver took a wrong turn, somewhat unsure about how to get there. That turned out to be a blessing, as the "late light" was photographically better than midday. We spent about three hours walking the Wall, and could have spent more. It was an amazing place! This portion of the wall was built in 1368 and restored in 1983. Construction of the Great Wall, in its entirety, spanned the 5th BC to the16th Century, and millions were pressed into service as laborers by the Emperors of five different dynasties. This section of the wall isn't overun by tourists (as you can see), and the farther you walk the less you encounter. There is also a cable car up to where you start, which otherwise is quite an uphill hike. There is the inevitable gauntlett of hawkers, but less than at other sites.