Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day One - The Great Wall

We passed the Drum Tower on the way out of Beijing on the way to the Great Wall. Our hotel, the Beijing Oriental Cultural Center is in the center of Beijing, marked by the inner ring of roads which there are a total of 6 rings..farther out are the more modern skyscrapers and such. We got the Great Wall around 11:15 am on a clear, spectacular day. We were lucky as the previous days were cloudy and rainy..We visited the Badlaling section, the most frequented area, the first area to be restored in 1957. Mao Zedong said "He who has not climbed the Great Wall is not a true man." The wall is 3,875 miles in length, but if you include all terrain and berm it is over 10,000 miles. Most of the wall is in poor condition and many parts are not easy to reach. We were amazed at how steep the steps were, with the flat stones not easy to climb. The walls are higher on the invading side and have more holes in for looking out and weapons and such. In walking were over overtaken by the vastness and overwhelming area it covered. Smoke was used to alert the troops if an invasion from the north was on its way. The wall was wide enough to allow horses and troops to move the point of action. We took many photos and will have them loaded on our Picasa album soon. Our trip has started out with spectacular weather, amazing food and wonderful companionship.

Tom & Linda Rasmussen

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