The Great Wall

Whenever I saw pictures of the Great Wall they were special to me. Just the thought how it winds thousands of kilometres through wilderness. This non-plus-ultra display of power. The biggest construction project ever. The only humanly built thing visible from orbit, so they say.

When you stand on that massive wall and are not distracted by the noise of tourists you can let the atmosphere sink in and can imagine what it may have been like 700/800 years ago.The first parts of the Great Wall were built 200 before Christ, or so. It got it’s biggest boost during the Ming dynasty – when it was expanded to stretch more than 8,000 km!

They say it took 60 million people to build it – of which about 30 million died. 60 million! OK, not at one time, but still! Can you imagine the logistic problems? Where to get the food, where to house the people…where to source the materials needed…? That IS “awesome”. So, don’t let me read about all your “awesome” burgers, books and restaurants. One of the most inflated words nowadays.

I spent only half a day on the Great Wall – and about 1-1/2 hours on a tower at a more remote spot with less tourists just taking in the surroundings and “reconstructing” history in my mind. So far the absolute highlight of my trip – and I cannot imagine how this could be topped!

This (the next) morning I can see the sky and the sun is shining!  Wonderful! The weather forecast was right. Yesterday at the Great Wall there was no sun but the wind had dispersed the smog – and one could even see Beijing in the distance (80km away). The local people there said this happens only a few times a year. Lucky me!

Here is “mist”erious Beijing:

“Amazing” (another such inflated word) what super-zoom my little Lumix camera has.

Here a few “autumn” pictures of the wall:

Now I am off to explore Beijing in sunshine!…

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