Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Great Wall

We went to the Great Wall right after the Ming Tombs and it had started raining. We went to a section near Beijing where it is possible to park very close to the Wall. Usually this is very crowded but due to the rain, it was deserted. This day was in complete contrast to the next, which was a beautiful day. As you will see in the photos of the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace, the crowds were all out enjoying the beautiful weather. But I am getting ahead of myself. At the Great Wall, it was wet and not very crowded.

From the parking lot, we could see the wall and many of the guard towers. Each tower was situated such that signals could be passed from tower to tower to where they needed to go. Soldiers patrolled from tower to tower.
This is a close-up of one the towers in the previous photo.
Looking the other way, you can see people climbing up to the towers.
That is where we are headed.

We climbed up from the parking lot and stopped off to get some coffee and cookies. We hadn't had lunch and the sandwiches that were available were all non-vegetarisn. So we settled for coffee and cookies. The coffee was very welcome in the cool rain.

Fortified, we headed up.
Remember the first watch-tower? Here it is from a higher altitude on the Wall.
Those buildings in the foreground are where we came from. Now here is where we need to go.
These buildings that surround the parking lot and the access to the Wall used to be military barracks. That is where the soldiers lived. But now they are preserved as used as shops and other amenities for tourists.
The Wall is quite well-preserved here. I believe that one can arrange parties on the Wall after hours.
Just as in many other locations world-wide, there is a section with locks. Lovers lock the locks and throw away the keys to preserve their love.
This is a close-up view of the watch-towers.
I wanted to go up to the third watch-tower, the one you see at the top of the photos with people climbing. But the steps were wet and steep and while I had no trouble going up, I wasn't particularly thrilled at the thought of going down. So half-way up, I quit and we left.

I may go back to another area of the Wall. I believe that in some of the other areas, you have to hike a bit to get to the Wall from the parking lot. And if it isn't raining and slippery, I may climb a bit further.

The next installment will cover the Forbidden City.

1 comment:

luann said...

wait till hannah hears that you went to see the great wall without her!