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Beijing: Day 1, The Great Wall

After our visit to the Temple of Heaven, we stopped at a local eatery and had an awesome lunch.  Mark is posting about all the food.  The next stop was the Great Wall;  we were so looking forward to checking off another item from our bucket list to see all of the modern-day Great Wonders.

It is amazing how well landscaped the roads are and all of the interesting art on the roads.  I really liked this one:

 

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All forms of transportation can be found here, from cars, bikes, buses, and scooters, yet this one I found funny.  A man was driving a motorized wheelchair, and this was not one of the fancy ones.

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The construction of the wall started in the 7th century BC and was completed during the Ming Dynasty from 1368-1644.  The wall is said to be 13,171 miles long taking into consideration all the branches.  This was a monumental feat considering it was all done by hand.

There are many places to view and climb the wall;  our tour manager took us to  Juyongguan for our climb.  Positives and negatives about this location.  On the positive side, it was not crowed at all, there were only 2 other busses there.  It was also cloudy that day and the temps only hit 88 which made climbing the wall not too bad.  On the not so positive side, the walkways were much narrower than other areas and the climb was very steep.

We were given 2 options, the hard side, and the harder side.  With my extreme fear of heights and my neuropathy, we chose the hard side.

This is the hard side:

 

I made it to the ridge on the top right in the 2nd pic which was way further than I ever expected.  Coming down for me was completely unnerving.  There was no uniformity in the steps, some were short and others were close to 2 feet, and adding in the steepness of the incline/decline makes for an interesting trek.  I think I sweated more coming down than going up.

More pics of the hard side:

 

And this was the harder side, no way in hell were we going to even attempt it.  There are a few brave souls who did it, you can see them on the landing.

37A649C2-DC2C-4DE4-A0BF-A534103DE753A few pics from different levels on the way up, the last pic was from the bus where you can barely see the wall at the top of the mountain.

 

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Seeing the wall was everything we thought it would be and more.

Tomorrow we are heading to Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, and The Summer Palace.

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