2011.05.27 beijing 318b 750x500

World wonder – check.
1 out of 2 accomplished for this trip :)

2011.05.27 beijing 206b 750x5002011.05.27 beijing 353b 500x750

Perfect wall trekking day:
– 36 degrees
– 4 liters of water
– 6 km of stairs

But so worth the views – it was absolutely gorgeous!

2011.05.27 beijing 409b 750x5002011.05.27 beijing 165b 750x500

The Great Wall is collectively a combination of smaller walls built throughout Chinese history. Thus, it is composed of different materials based on which sections you visit. The wall is the longest human structure built, around roughly 6400 km total, and it dates back to 5th century BC.

2011.05.27 beijing 067b 500x750

Our transportation there and back was interesting. Our tour bus was crammed to the point that no one could escape – they pulled up magical hidden chairs from the middle aisles so that we were packed in solid. We rode a chair lift up to the top, and as a bonus, we got to take a mountain toboggan all the way down.

cable ride up to the great wallfold out seats in the middle of the bus to cram in as many people as possible

What’s this picture of trees you wonder? This is what the unrestored parts of the Great Wall look like. There are only specific portions that visitors can walk along, as these parts have been extensively restored. The remainder of the wall is susceptible to erosion and damage from sandstorms, and therefore many parts remain in disrepair.

Apparently in some areas the watchtowers have completely disappeared, and in others the wall has lost up to 3 meters of height. Further, some areas of the wall have even been taken down to provide materials to build schools and other buildings for nearby villages. It’s sad to think that much of the wall will disappear in the next couple of decades… it makes me appreciate the opportunity to see it now, and to appreciate the restoration efforts to preserve some sections for historical purposes.

the actual great wall - unrestored2011.05.27 beijing 118 750x500

Great day, and we’re wrapping it up by learning how to make dumplings tonight!