Hiking the Great Wall of China

From atop one of the lookout points in the Beijing section of the Great Wall.

The great wall should really be called the great staircase. The portion we climbed had over 1,500 steps, and these are not your mother’s steps. It’s the steepest section of the wall and every step is a different size and depth – some are almost a two foot climb. As you focus your attention on not tripping there are hundreds of people coming towards you from both directions, and your body is in a state of constant confusion because the air is so cold, but you are sweating profusely. It was a lot of fun.

Some quick facts:

  • Stretches over 5,500 miles.
  • Built over 2,000 years ago.
  • Built to keep out the Mongolians.
  • It’s a symbol of the unification of the 6 kingdoms of China
  • You can’t actually see it from space 😦

We had to do a ridiculous pose next to these ridiculous weapons.

Since the wall was meant for defense there are plenty of lookout posts with great views.

I wouldn’t mind being a guard here.

Legend has it that if a couple puts a lock on the wall they’ll stay together forever.

Thousands of love locks

There was a lot of love on the wall. I wonder if it’s a happening date spot.

Graffiti always looks nicer when it’s in another language.

Mike and me posing on the wall:

Mike was obviously influenced by the Asian tourists

I’m wearing the chocolate pearls Mike bought me.

I’ll leave you with this beautiful picture!

This is not fog

Before you plan your trip to the wall I suggest you warm up on the stair master and take some potassium vitamins. And don’t forget to stretch afterward. I work out almost every day but my muscles were no match for these stairs. I had leg cramps for three days.

 

6 comments

  1. Great pictures, and they bring back good memories. I went there with my mother in January almost 20 years ago, having damaged a knee ligament the previous winter. That was followed by two surgeries and extensive physical therapy.

    It was cold and windy at the wall and my mom was appalled that I wanted to climb it anyway. “Why?” she asked. “Because I can,” said me.

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    1. Good for you, although I hope it didn’t cause any more damage 🙂 It’s a hard opportunity to pass up especially when it’s right in front of you.

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