Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Great Wall of China - JuyongGuan

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.



Far view of The Great Wall as the world knows it.


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.




At the gate - tickets already purchased by the guide.


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.


Absorbing more than local culture


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.


Steady steps will get you higher and higher. Young and old climbed - didn't see anyone running up.




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.


Walking away from ground level to begin the climb.


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!!!


21 comments:

  1. One of the Great Wonders..great place to show a leg..tQ

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  2. You take me around the world with your posts and pictures. Thank you for that! I would love to experience this one day. Hopefully I'll make it to China before the locals have had a chance to remove all of the wall's bricks to put on their houses.

    Apparently, this is a very common thing in the area. Not much of the wall is still where it's supposed to be.

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  3. What a wonderful post...marvellous words, and with great pictures. The Great Wall of China and indeed China itself has always fascinated me, I would truly love to go there some day.

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  4. wah..u can climb so high ah.. last time i lembik .. i climbed till the 2nd phase.. coming down is also scary.. .

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  5. Amazing photos. What a wonderful experience this must have been for you.

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  6. Great photos and narrative, Keats! My parents visited the Great Wall a few years ago. I think it would be a great adventure to do the full trek one day. Some areas are so badly damaged that it's dangerous to try to venture across the rubble. I would think it's a huge thrill. I love the shot of you and Ravi -- very sweet! I don't think the two of you need to put any locks anywhere, though!

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  7. Looks like you had a fantastic trip! I have not been to other parts of China other than Shenzhen. I wld love to climb the great wall someday!

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  8. Awesome shots, Keats! I've never been to China but I feel like I was there thru your pics.

    Have a nice day!!

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  9. The most visited section of the Great Wall is in Badaling, close to Beijing.Did you go there?
    I remember having read the great wall as the longest cemetery on earth,because it is said to have cost the lives of a million people during construction.
    Incredible.You have a way with words and pictures.

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  10. Wow! Very interesting! I liked all the costumes, they really get into it! ( you looked like you were too.)

    By the way, thanks for linking in to my fix-it Friday post.


    Rosey

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  11. Have you tried dumplings and roast ducks? They are the famous and traditional Beijing dieshes. And also bird's nest soup? Its a delicacy in China.

    Enjoy your days~~~

    Gillion
    www.geocities.jp/hongkong_bird_nest/index_e.htm

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  12. Again I can see you enjoying your traveling...
    Beautiful pictures, great memories...
    I wonder what those Chinese people working there, like that boy, what do they think about all Western tourists walking up and down and cameras clicking all the time.... :)

    In Finland we have a lot of Japanese tourists and I always smile when I see a group of them - click, click, click, they take a LOT of pictures all the time! :)

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  13. Wonderful post about wonderful historic architecture!!!

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  14. Hi Keats! I’m back!! One week off, one week to deal with the mess created by the absence, a birthday almost no one noticed and a weekend to rest a little bit...

    The Great Wall always provides great posts; and yours is fabulous... I did it in 2002 and that was quite an experience!!

    Meanwhile Blogtrotter Two is enjoying a fabulous hotel: the Cala di Volpe in Costa Smeralda!! Enjoy, comment and have a great weekend!

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  15. I don't when I will be there.:(
    Beautiful shots.:)

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  16. Nice climb up the Great Wall! I'm already panting. Should make it there sometime.

    Here for the first time and enjoyed reading your post :)

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  17. That's my targeted destination....hopefully next year :)

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  18. Wonderful captured moments! It makes me want to visit as well.

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  19. Nice wonderful photos.
    China have so many nice place to visit,
    i wonder where i should start my?

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  20. Great sharing about the trip.
    I love reading them :)

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Great to have you popping in!