The Bucket List: BOOM! The Great Wall! .. May 9th 2016

Although a visit to the Great Wall was not the reason we came to China, it has been on the bucket list for a long time. If nothing else, when filling out those “Places I’ve visited” on FB, we get to check off another. No but seriously, since childhood, if there was a place in another country you heard of, The Great Wall has to rank right up there among the biggest.

One thing that Tommy and I are both allergic to is endless tours full of filler stops and ” shopping opportunities”. So thanks to our friend Ray, we hired a private driver to take us there and bring us back. Fantastic experience! Our driver Sam spoke english and was able to answer my incessant random questions about everything we went by and just life in general. Biggest random takeaway was the fact that 15-20 years ago, these Audis, BMWs, Mercedes, Hondas, Lexus, Chryslers, and Fords were mostly all bicycles… Thats less time than Tommy and I have been together for perspective. It’s hard to imagine that, but then I noticed we rarely saw a beat up or bad looking car. i actually started trying to spot one and really couldn’t, other than a few old beatup work trucks. So realistically very few older autos. This really is a new normal for this country.

For The Great Wall, 2000 years of existence, and thousands of miles of length, has reduced parts of it to but a crumbling memory. However the Chinese government has taken on aggressively restoring certain parts and there are certain sections that are beautifully intact. We visited the Mutianyu section which has less tourists and offers much better spectacular views of the surrounding mountainsides. On top of that, it was a rainy day, so we scored with even less tourists there. It was JUST how I imagined it growing up. Majestic is the word that continually came to mind. Couldn’t help but peer out in both directions as far as you could see and wonder what it took to create this. On another note, walking up and down the endless stairs and pathways, you feel like you did the most incredible stairclimber session ever. All in all it was fabulous except I did not like the open ski style chairlift we needed to take to finally get to the Wall, especially in the rainy, breezy conditions. Not a fan of dangling legs high up…

Ok and it is The Great Wall. There might be a few extra selfies included on this round…

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