G is for Great Wall of China.

Move along folks, nothing to see here. Just a construction of over 13,000 miles in length built over a period of several hundred years under many different leaders, a structure that is purportedly visible from space and one that attracts millions of tourists every year.

For those staying in Beijing, a lot of people head for Mutianyu, visit the brand new visitor centre, take the cable car to the top, walk about a bit and then cable car back down. That wasn’t at all what I wanted to do, so I arranged with a company to pick me up and take me to Jiankou. From here I’d climb up for an hour before getting onto an unrestored section, I’d walk for a couple of hours on the old bit, before arriving at the 10km stretch recently restored by the Chinese government and head to Mutianyu, a climb down a couple of thousand steps and bingo, into the car and back to Beijing.

The first hour was indeed steep, when they told me I would be climbing up for an hour, they weren’t wrong. It was up, up and up followed by some up. Finally I arrived on the top. The views were non existent, thick fog shrouded everything. Probably my only trip to China and the Great Wall and I couldn’t see more than five yards in front of my face.

However, I could see the rough old steps I was walking on:


DSC_1196

The apricots that were a staple diet of the Chinese army back in the day:

DSC_1150

Forts, of which there are many along the Wall. As an ex soldier I can just imagine how things would have been back in the day when the wall was an active service site, freezing in the winter, roasting in summer, difficult to get provisions to and the constant threat of attack from the Mongol hordes.

DSC_1168

Flowers growing willy nilly, as nature slowly takes back what is rightfully hers:

DSC_1162

As the day wore on the sun came out and burnt off a lot of the fog, meaning the views improved and forts and wall just seemed to go on and on and on …

DSC_1211

Looking back up the hill I could get a very slight understanding of the enormity of the task. I had to climb up for an hour to get onto the Wall. Just me, in my own time, with a bottle of water. How all of the building materials were dragged up back in the day is difficult to comprehend.

DSC_1178

 

The Great Wall of China is exactly what it says it is. It truly is a spectacular piece of engineering, eroded completely in places, visible only with small lumps of brick in others, but the restored piece, showing what it would have been like during the time when invasion was a real threat, gave a real insight into living conditions back then. There are myriad stories about the Wall, but seeing it with my own eyes was better than hearing them all from someone who’d been there.

 

The letter G was bought to you by: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

 

Advertisements

About bobleponge216

Elderly rotund toothless male seeks wilderness to travel to.
This entry was posted in Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to G is for Great Wall of China.

  1. Astounding. I’d love to see it, but maybe not with the major climb you undertook

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Guilie says:

    Wow! That’s the way to see the Wall indeed. I guess I need to hurry up and go before my joints go all mawkish on me 😀 Excellent post, fantastic story. So glad I found your blog.
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks for the kind words, really appreciated. I wont lie, after 2000 plus steps to get back down to the car park my legs were absolutely broken for a good few days afterwards. Was worth it though, truly spectacular.
      Chris.

      Like

  3. Alex Hurst says:

    I’d definitely like to visit there one day… the unrestored area looks far more interesting, too! But all that smog/fog, wow~!

    Like

    • The wild area was fantastic, nobody there, just desolate beauty, the restored area definitely easier on the legs though. I stayed in Beijing for a week and did The Wall on my last day. On the 90 minute drive from Beijing to Jiankou the driver stopped about half way, we got out of the car and looked at what I’d been breathing in for the previous seven days. Horrifying. Very similar to when I climbed up TV Mountain in Kabul, the pollution cloud was horrific.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s