Guys, guys, I found a wall big enough to cover the US-Mexican border (or even the US-Canada border if we tire of their niceness). I mean, it's Made in China, but, I think the big orange man in charge will let that slide. 😉
In all seriousness, the sheer scale of the Great Wall of China would definitely put the fear of something holy in you were you attempting to invade. Measuring at least 5,500 miles long, or by one estimate even 13,171 miles long with all the branches, and at least 15 feet high over already steep mountains, the wall stands as largest "Keep Out" sign in history.
In all seriousness, the sheer scale of the Great Wall of China would definitely put the fear of something holy in you were you attempting to invade. Measuring at least 5,500 miles long, or by one estimate even 13,171 miles long with all the branches, and at least 15 feet and sometimes up to 30 feet high over already steep mountains, the wall stands as largest "Keep Out" sign in history.
Now, I don’t really have a good story about our trip to the Great Wall. It was easy to reach, we didn’t run into all that many people, we rested adequately, we walked leisurely, etc. etc. We did take a toboggan down and that was awesome, but otherwise, it’s hard to really know what to say about visiting the wall other than, “we made it.”
So instead, here are just some beautiful photos and a few tidbits we learned along the way that caught my attention.
The Great Wall is almost absurdly old. While most of the current, still-standing wall dates to the Ming dynasty of the 14th-17th centuries, by some accounts, the history of a Great Wall goes back to the 8th century BCE, and certainly to the 221 BCE with Emperor Qin. Obviously none of that wall remains but still, good grief it's old!
views for miles
The Great Wall is mostly in ruins, except for the restorations. Most tourists go to Badaling and Mutianyu, and some to Jingshanling. These picturesque parts have been restored beautifully, probably with some of original materials, though I found myself wondering what was new and what was original.
The Great Wall ends in the sea. Whhaaaaaa. I know, so cool. And given the mountains above, it's hard to fathom this ever ending in the sea. I overheard one guy on the wall say "why wouldn't you just sail around it?" I dunno, buddy, why don't you try starting invading all the way over near Tibet and try making your way down to the water to sail around the wall instead.
The Great Wall has trees to climb! Around some of the watchtowers you'll find these off-shoots to bypass the tower. I don't really get the point of walking around the wall, but then I saw this tree and I thought, ahhhh now I get it.
The Great Wall has a great toboggan. Now you can hike, take a cable car, or follow all around trendsetter Michelle Obama and take the toboggan down the Great Wall. I figured, if it's good enough for First Lady, it's good enough for us. Also it's damn fun.