Thursday, February 26, 2015

Beijing: Day 2.

I've been looking forward to sharing this photo story with you: our day at none other than the Great Wall of China. Again, for some reason, The Great Wall was never high on my list of places to visit. Maybe it's because I'm usually drawn to places of extraordinary natural wonder, as opposed to extraordinary feats of man, but now that I've been, I have no regrets. I've always loved mountain ranges—in fact, one of my very first paintings as a kid was of snow-capped mountains in New Zealand—so I guess standing on something impressively man-made amongst something impressively nature-made ticked all the right boxes. I can only imagine how beautiful it would have been had it been snowing, or had it been spring and summertime.

We were there for about 4 hours, but I wish we had time to stay longer so that we could've climbed the 20th & 21st watchtowers, which had quite a steep incline. Perhaps I'll come back and trek the Wall next time (clearly hadn't had enough of trekking in 2014).

Most of the wall is taller than me (although being only 5 ft. tall, I guess this no longer sounds as impressive. Anyway, trust me: it was.) and it went on and on as far as the eye could see. Don't get me wrong: I knew that the Great Wall was tall and many thousands of kilometres long, but it's one thing to hear all the trivia and another thing to see it in real life.

Just think about how much work it would've taken man—without forklifts or cranes to do the heavy lifting—to create what we see today, many years later.

It had only just snowed in Beijing the week before, and being the start of winter, most of the scenery was looking very brown and bare, but still beautiful in their own right, I thought, as nature always is. Trees completely stripped of their leaves are rare to see in Brisbane, and I would make a little game with myself to spot bird's nests stuck in the treetops, long abandoned, as we drove two hours to the Mutianyu Great Wall. Our tour guide, Lu, explained that the Mutianyu section was a lot quieter and a lot more scenic than some of the other areas of the Wall that you can access from Beijing.

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