I climbed the Great Wall of China today, and although wonderful and stupendous, what I was looking forward to the most was the crisp mountain air. I will admit that in general I am a bit jaded to most places I encounter in life, but the wall is a feat of medieval engineering that is unfathomable. I can’t believe that they were able to build something so larger in 1404 BC; heck, I couldn’t even believe those street vendors on the wall hike up with their goods and carts every day to make a living. They must be friends with the ski lift operators. The weather was what I imagined it would be – misty, mysterious, and gray. It made the hike enjoyable. It was truly beautiful, and I highly recommend a visit through China, if nothing else, just to see this wall.
My advice to you:
1. I recommend drinking a beer when you finally make it to the top. It just might be my new favorite thing to tell people I've done. "I drank a beer on the Great Wall of China."
2. Don't be like the Russian woman I saw at the bottom of the mountain - Do NOT wear leopard print heels to the Great Wall of China! Especially when its raining, it can be very treacherous even in tennis shoes.
3. If it isn't raining, you should take the toboggans down. They looked incredibly fun. Due to the weather, we had to resort to another death trap form of descending the wall, a ski lift.
The Chinese men who ran the lift were laughing because James was so tall he almost didn't even make it into the lift. I was afraid he would be decapitated. Hope he got the "dismemberment" clause on his travel insurance!
4. Also, don't forget to get a group shot from the top of the wall. This picture may very well back it's way onto my mantle someday.