One of the most famous tourist attractions in China is the Great Wall. The Great Wall was built between the 13th and 16th century the first and second century so about 1900/years ago and stretches 21,000 km. As it came into view from our bus I was overcome by its dominance of the mountain landscape sheer greatness of the achievement. I am also struck by reality that in the end it never really did what it was meant to and the human cost during its construction must have been immense. Like the first time I saw the Colosseum in Rome I am both inspired and left in awe at the sight of this ancient wonder.
Again photos do not even begin to provide a true sense of what is here. To be able to see it first hand and touch it begin the provide some appreciation. To be able to walk on it and climb it steep inclines provides a glimpse of the builders vision and the warriors experience.
I admit that the climb for me was quite challenging. But slowly and methodically I was able to reach the highest tower that I could see at the beginning of my walk.
The stones on the path of the wall are uneven and worn. Although there are stairs, the rise of each step is random and varies from a few inches to 15 or 16 inches. As we were told by our guide Cherry, the climb demanded our full attention and we had to promise not to be distracted by taking photos on the move.
As physically spent as I was upon reaching my goal, the view of the wall serpentining through the mountains as far as one could see was spectacular. As I rested in preparation for my careful and taxing descent, I was struck by the history of the place and it’s significance. Looking out and seeing the world from the same vantage as those ancient Mandarin warriors I believe I could truly feel the history, if such a thing is possible..