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Great Wall

A UNESCO World Heritage site in China. Architecture

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A Climb That Created a Lifetime of Memories!

  • Jan 26, 2010
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I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit this marvel of construction with my family a few years ago.  I went during the summer so needless to say it was incredibly hot.  The section of the wall I went to was outside of Beijing in the mountains.  Therefore the section of the wall I visited was a climb in the mountains.  There were seven towers on that section and I was told that climbing to the seventh tower was like going to the top of the Empire State Building twice.

I climbed with my son and was told by our tour leader that we had only an hour to get back to the bus.  Therefore we tried to climb at a rapid pace so we would have ample time to get back before we were left by our tour group.  It may sound easy but there are sections of the wall with no railing and many of the steps are worn down or broken.  This made for a very challenging climb.  The heat was another factor and I was so drenched about halfway up that I looked like I had jumped into a pool with my clothes on.

One of the things that amazed me was that at just about each tower there were places to buy souvenirs and snack and drink items.  This was because I couldn't figure out how they got their supplies.  Just climbing with nothing but a camera and a bottle of water was treacherous enough.  I don't know how supplies could be carried up.

I noticed pretty soon that the most difficult part of the climb was actually at the beginning because it is so crowded near the bottom.  As you get up the crowd slowly thins out so it is actually easier the higher you get.  Also, the challenge of making it all the way and the magnificent view that you have a each point make everything worthwhile.

Once we made it up we thought that going down would be simple but those broken and worn steps are actually a lot harder on the way down.  Also, the larger crowds towards the bottom really slow you down.  All told though we did make it back in time to make our bus.  I wish I had more time to enjoy it more!  I definately would recommend going to anybody.  And the nice thing about being in China is that there are plenty of places available in Beijing to get a relaxing foot massage after!
A Climb That Created a Lifetime of Memories!

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February 03, 2010
Thanks for sharing. One of my dream is visiting the Great Wall. What a pity, as a Chinese, I hasn't been there, looking forward to being there soon. There is an old saying"one who never been to the Gread Wall can not be a real man". So you are a real man now, congratulations~
February 03, 2010
Thank you for your kind words. Actually, this is just one of endless wonders that exist in China. I spent two weeks there and never seemed to encounter amazing things.
January 26, 2010
You should write a review on Beijing! Thanks for this review. I would love to go to China!
January 26, 2010
Maybe the Terracotta Warriors outside of Chien. That was my favorite visit.
January 26, 2010
Great review, Michael!  This is sure a nice piece of history to marvel at.  I've been here a couple of times.  Once in the hot summer, and once in the cold winter.  Being in the colder weather only made it slightly easier to walk this, but I was equally exhausted by the time I came down! 

I, too, am amazed at those vendors.  It also kind of ruins the view, but at the same time, I can't help but feel bad for the people who have to haul those cases of sodas and food up there!  By the way, have you checked out @Sharrie's review of China?  I think you'd find it interesting :)
January 26, 2010
Thanks Devora. As your reviews are always so well written I appreciate the feedback. If I get inspired after Sharrie's review, maybe I'll post my own.
January 26, 2010
Sounds like a blast! Would love to get there someday as well. Thanks for sharing your experience with the rest of us.
More The Great Wall of China reviews
review by . February 02, 2010
Looking in from outer space...
If I get to go to outer space or Mars or the Moon, whatever... well, I am not sure if I'd be looking for the Great Wall! I mean, c'mon, isn't it easier to see it on the ground or even on a hot air balloon than outer space? ;-)      So, man will still be looking for his own legacy when viewing from outer space, won't he?   We pride ourselves in history and historical conquests and at times, I wonder what we humans will be like if we do not have our roots …
Quick Tip by . January 26, 2010
Totally a pain to walk whether it's cold or hot, but what a great piece of history to marvel at!
Quick Tip by . January 26, 2010
THE only manmade architecture you can see from outer space, ie if you are going outer space ;-) Isn't there anything else to see out there?!
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I first got on this blog to discuss my first passion which is books. Since I have gotten on I find that books are only a piece of this blog and I can discuss just about anything that comes to mind. It … more
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The Great Wall of China (simplified Chinese: 长城; traditional Chinese: 長城; pinyin: Chángchéng; literally "long city/fortress") or (simplified Chinese: 万里长城; traditional Chinese: 萬里長城; pinyin: Wànlǐ Chángchéng; literally "The long wall of 10,000 Li (里)") is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in northern China, built, rebuilt, and maintained between the 5th century BC and the 16th century to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire from Xiongnu attacks during various successive dynasties. Since the 5th century BC, several walls have been built that were referred to as the Great Wall. One of the most famous is the wall built between 220–206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. Little of that wall remains; the majority of the existing wall were built during the Ming Dynasty.

The Great Wall stretches from Shanhaiguan in the east to Lop Nur in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. The most comprehensive archaeological survey, using advanced technologies, has recently concluded that the entire Great Wall, with all of its branches, stretches for 8,851.8 km (5,500.3 mi). This is made up of 6,259.6 km (3,889.5 mi) of sections of actual wall, 359.7 km (223.5 mi) of trenches and 2,232.5 km (1,387.2 mi) of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers.

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