Imperial China, The Yangtze River & Tibet
May, 2007, an OAT Tour

Imperial Beijing - The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China

Northern China, Beijing east of the Golbe Desert

The Great Wall of China needs little explanation. Second only to the Great Pyramids, it is one of the greatest man made structures on earth. The Great Wall snakes through the countryside like an endless, slender dragon over deserts, hills, and plains from the Yellow Sea through five provinces and ends up in the Golbi Desert. Originally only earthen ramparts built by individual states, the Great Wall was created after the unification of China under Qin Shi Huangdi (221-210 BC). It proved to be ineffective in keeping the Mongols to the north out. Of the thousands of miles of Wall only selected portions have been fully restored. The top of the walls were wide enough that 5 or 6 horsemen could ride side by side. Fortified towers, signal beacon towers and garrisons living within the towers completed the defenses. As we climbed up and down the wall and took the winding roads through the rough terrain I kept asking Sophie, "Are we on the China side or the Mongolian side?" She didn't care, it was all China now. The Wall may have been built wide but in many places it is very steep requiring steps so I couldn't ride my Goldwing. We visited both the unrestored and restored wall.

The Unrestored Wall

We started at the Unrestored Wall of Badaling. We climbed the mighty and steep, but crumbling walls. Unfortunately our day at the Great Wall it rained off and on. King Chuang of the Mongol rebellious forces attacked the wall at this place, a river valley. In most places the walls were formidable following mountain tops, but from time to time it had to cross a river, or creek, or go through a valley. It is impossible for an army to climb the side of a mountain and lay seige to the Wall but at a valley the army can move with greater ease. King Chuang's army continued the attack and the soldiers of the Ming dynasty were worn down and the wall was breached.

On the bus ride Sophie tells us all about the Great Wall

Road signs are in English We traveled in small buses

Narrow roads to the Wall Mongolian Camp - we must be in Mongolia

Gate to the Mongol Camp Siege cannon

Premative but effective

Mongolian fortifications We have to climb to the top

This tower is our first destination The crumbling staircase was difficult to climb

A long hard climb to the top A rest stop

Some idea of how steep it is I think it says: Killroy was here

See our parking lot? Chinese were so helpful - We've come so far...

We reached the top and everyone is tuckered out

50 years I've waited for this sight. Breathtaking scenery of mountain landscape We have climbed the Great Wall of Chinia

Here's the climbers - We made it. The Wall just snakes up and over and around and its a 
long way down to our bus

Steep steps going down too More steep steps

Lots of help needed to climb these steps Now we have to work our way down

After Climbing We Deserve Lunch & A Little Shopping

All meals were served on a Lazy Susan Shopping after lunch

Jade Laughing Buddha Souvenirs of our visit

Jewels for memories or tacky depends on your outlook.

The Restored Wall - Nixon Was Here

On our way to the restored wall

Heading to the watch tower Nixon was here

The Wall goes on and on and on.... Even here it is a steep climb

Very Proud of the Olympics - Note the symbol... A country of 1.3 billion people trying to make a living

A great walking path Heading up to the top watch tower

it goes on forever ... and forever

Its magnitude is not appreciated in photographs If you come early you can walk a 100 miles

They really wanted to keep the Mongols out

The guard says, Too late in the day, can't go further Looking back from where I came.....

So much it is just overwhelming When the sun comes out it is great

Everyone loves to have their picture taken at this site

Boys have more fun More souvenirs

11 Opera masks

The Ride Back to Beijing

As we drive back to Beijing we see how extensive the Wall is Heavely fortified gate when the wall comes to a river

River valleys are easier to breach because you don't have to 
climb a steep hill. 15

Old buildings being demolished All kinds of strip malls

A school yard All sorts of small shops

We arrive back in Beijing

Index to all China 2007 Adventures:

The following pages are still under construction
so be patient and come back to watch its growth.

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This page was created by Bob "Belli" Frazee

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