Climbing the Great Wall is high on the wish list for many visitors to China, but not everyone realizes just how much of a climb it really is. China loves its stairs, and the Great Wall is no exception. However, these stairs are notoriously uneven, with small steps dispersed amongst giant steps, and plenty of steps that are sagging in places from the wear of millions of feet.
The surface of the wall isn’t the same rock that was there over two thousand years ago – it has been rebuilt multiple times, most famously during the Ming Dynasty in the 14th century, right on top of the crumbling ruins of the older sections of the wall. While scaling the wall today, it is hard to imagine how difficult it would have been for ancient Chinese troops to patrol up and down the mountain.
The climb, although not for the faint of heart, is very rewarding (and for more than the “I Climbed the Great Wall” t-shirts sold halfway up the mountain). The views are spectacular, as is the sense of accomplishment. Visitors aiming to reach “the top” are often surprised to discover that upon reaching what they thought was the highest point, that the wall really continues up and up beyond what they had previously been able to see. But all the little old ladies zooming past the young “in shape” tourists probably aren’t laughing at them (too much).
|Prints available on: Pixels, Fine Art America, and Zazzle.|
|Available at my Bamboo Scroll Zazzle store.|
A few shout-outs to some other entries that I liked:
- patriciaddrury has a beautiful purple-hued photo looking up at a palm tree against some dramatic clouds.
- mikehardisty looks straight up a tree while still capturing the detail of the bark’s texture.
- suellewellyn2011 gets up close and personal with a dragonfly and a chicken.
- evilnymphstuff shares some up-lifting words while gazing past the blades of tall grass to the sun overhead.
- dewetswild catches some glimpses of the nocturnal galago.