March 05, 2007
ChinaThe Great Wall
The Great Wall deserves a bright heading because of how mind-blowing it was. We went to a part that wasn't the most popular spot to climb. There was almost no one there. We left at 9 AM and got there around 11. The walk up to the Great Wall was intense. I didn't realize that you had to climb a mountain to reach the wall. We climbed for a good half hour. This is a mountain with steep steps that I still don't understand how I did it. Once we got up to the wall, it was not a road, it didn't cut across the top of the mountain, but conformed to the mountain. It rolled all over the tops of these hills, and there were huge steps and steep stairs to climb up and down.
We mostly went uphill. We started at the 8th watch tower, which they would send up puffs of smoke to signal how many men were approaching. One puff meant 100 men, two meant 500, and three meant 1,000 men. They would send these puffs up life a chain, from one watch tower to the next. We walked to the 11th tower, then stopped to each our packed bag lunch, which was interesting, since it was packaged by BSU. It had hard boiled eggs, sausage (don't ask what was in it, because we still don't know), a sweet roll, and some water. Not a traditional American lunch.
We saw a lot of people from all over the world on the Wall. There were two or three Michigan grads who called out to us, since we were all in bright yellow Michigan shirts. We climbed up to the 20th watch tower, which was almost a vertical climb. It was very scary. When we looked behind us, we could not even see the step behind us unless we looked straight down because it was so steep. When we got to the top, the rest of the wall was in ruins, so we couldn't keep going. I started to write my name on the wall, and the guard yelled at me. Oops.
The view was unbelievable, and it was so hard to imagine the history behind it all. Just thinking about people creating this, and actually using it, hiding from their enemies, and fighting for their lives on this wall was so hard to believe. No one wanted to leave that top tower. (not only because of the view, but because the walk down looked deadly) When we finally got down, we were exhausted, but decided to do a little bargaining for some souveniers. And then we took the bus home. It was the BEST part of my trip!
Posted by cdesimon at March 5, 2007 08:24 PM