A quick snapshot before the climb.
Our guide made this introduction to The Great Wall . She quoted Mao Zedong : He who has not climbed The Great Wall is not a true man'. Well, would I or many others take him seriously?? That is not to say my heart didn't skip more than a few beats to be THERE. Definitely a must -see to complete one's tour of the highlights of Beijing. I 'm just glad and thankful for this adventure.
We were reminded to be suitably attired - good pair of walking shoes, sunshades, arm yourselves with mineral bottled water and with good spirit, climb!
Juyong Guan is a pass ('quan' means a mountain pass through mountains). Having the mountains on either side goes to show it was ideal for defences. It is situated 50 km north west of Beijing.
Several factors worked in my favour during the climb : 1) no jostling and at that time there weren't hordes of people clambering over my head!! 2) weather was pretty pleasant - I didn't sweat profusely as I did at Batu Caves during Thaipusam 3) me legs still can carry me up and down .
If you're happy and you know it .... show a LEG!
The hand rails helped tremendously to give the pull and to guide me on the way down. I stayed close to the sides up and down as I didn't want to be in anyone's way. Take your time to view the grand scenery before you - that's your reward. Such a dizzying realization too that The Great Wall was erected by ordinary folks who built feverishly to accomplish their Emperors' commands to protect their country from marauders. As a precaution, visible warnings remind visitors of the risks especially of those with cardiac history and not to tempt fate by sitting astride the walls.
Easy does it - steps are of varying heights - some more than a foot deep. Hand rails to hold on. Luckily it wasn't overcrowded and people were disciplined as they wove their way up or down.
To my knowledge, nobody complained of wobbly knees after the climb! For those who climbed, one could sense the feeling of satisfaction for having climbed the steps of one of the wonders of the world. After that, and a short rest, we were whisked off to another historic sight of Beijing - The Temple of Heaven.
He wants to be a warrior - someday in Hollywood! ! I saw him getting dressed and he was most eager.
Who's looking at US?? - suddenly so many cameras clicked as we stood on the steps to climb The Great Wall to have the mandatory group picture.
Climb every mountain...
Thumbs up before the next ascent - enjoying the breeze too
Locks left behind by couples who believe their love will last forever as they are' locked ' for eternity.
The fun of finding instant, new friends - all the way from Louisiana, USA. -Kathy and Stephanie who suddenly had so many admirers and sportingly took pictures with others to make a happy outing for everyone. Thanks, girls !
Many sunny shades in rows to rest and keep the sun away. Ice - cream and drinks to quench the thirst on a hot, sunny day.
The shop where we got our bamboo souvenir engraved with our names and the date of our visit. Really the momento is for when the memory fades and the date and place is forgotten!!!