After last week’s blog which probably
should have gone went viral after seeing me dance in such a fine way, I come to talking about a much more mundane subject of The Great Wall of China this week. Ok, fair enough, it is an unimportant landmark in the grand scheme of things, but it may be worth a listen anyway!
Also this week, how I became a man in China….
After spending a few days in Beijing, we decided to leave the comfortable capital for a much more convenient climate of the side of a mountain to take on what would be the first of the seven great wonders for me… other than why toilets in Australia flush backwards: The Great Wall. Considering that there are several visitor options, I think that I chose the correct one for us, but we will see why further below.
Over 6000km long, the Great Wall provided a line of defense for the state against oncoming armies from across the whole of Asia and what is now known as modern China. Have little look around Mutianyu from one vantage point- the highest point that we reached, but also from where the defending army was housed….
Looking further to the East (left), you may be able to see the remains of the cut off sections of the wall (at least to the public), which I decided was an excellent position to film from. crashingabike risks everything to get the best shots… As the camera focuses upon the main building- the main guard house for this section of the wall and a key place to position troops to make sure that each side of the mountain was covered at any given time. Interestingly, this was particularly cold for the time of year, and you can only wonder what temperatures it reached during the depth of winter.
The location of the wall seems ideally placed, as the invaders would have not only needed the ability to scale the surrounding mountains, but also the wall itself, which averaged a good 10m in height at all times, if not higher. It is bewildering how any army managed to mount any sort of serious attack, let alone completed it.
In fact, I was particularly surprised at how steep the wall was in many places- if I found it a test to walk up the impossibly steep and misaligned steps the surely the attacking force would have given up after having a go on the actual defenses… no?
It’s bizarre, because most people assume that the wall is either flat, or easy to walk upon. Whilst it is true that many sections are restored, and therefore less authentic, the general feeling it that wall was complicated to defend, with a virtually infinite supply route needed in order to continue it and a difficult communication system to the other guard houses.
Nevertheless, the wall is a marvel of engineering, and I can only imagine how it was completed in such an impenetrable way, with such effectiveness.
The scenery around us was magnificent, too, and I’d like to fill the rest of the blog with it… enjoy!!
Finally, on the lighter side of things, I managed to take a picture which seems to encapsulate the current trends in the west… I introduce the Selfie and great wall of China, a WALLIE.
And for all that are wondering why I became a man this week….
There is a Chinese saying that you are not a man until you have seen the Great Wall.
Although I have no idea if this is factually true, I entirely urge everyone with the opportunity to see this wonder, to do so. It’s incredible. Perhaps they even saw us from space….
Have a good week. Take care all!!
ps, next week I have another in my unique ‘selfie’ range, also based in Beijing… comment below for what it may be!!!