Monday, June 15, 2009

The Great Wall


That’s a big WOW, not a little wow. The Great Wall is just impressive. Pictures do not do it justice. It is a wall with numerous guard towers running along the length of it. The terrain that it sits on is rugged hilly terrain, which makes it all the more impressive. When one is actually on the wall, the verticle nature of the wall as it climbs the hills is an amazing view. Needless to say, it is a bit of a bear walking up and down all the little steps, but it is a great workout.

Now I have a soft spot for the European style castles. I love everything about the old castles, and Europe has a number of really interesting ones. The multi-floor designs with the guard towers resonate well with me. One can picture knights going forth into battle with their pageantry held high. It’s all good stuff.

But the Great Wall is a bit different than that. Looking out over the hillside is an awesome view. A number of trees have grown up very close to the wall, which I suspect were not there several centuries ago, add to the scenic view. It seems hard to believe that this was built so long ago. It would be quite an undertaking now to build something that is 4000 miles long with modern tools and equipment.
I found the guard towers to be very interesting. The inside was not just one big open area, but rather bunch of smaller areas. There where a number of walls in the towers that divided up the inner area. In most of the towers, there must have been ladders leading to the roofs, as they were all gone, except for the open hatch that lead to the roof. I was actually a bit disappointed that a ladder way was not still present to climb up to the roof.
I have enclosed a number of pictures that we took today, and I will try to post some more within the next day or two.

Enclosed is a snippet from Wikipedia.

The Great Wall of China is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in northern China, built, rebuilt, and maintained between the 5th century BC and the 16th century to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire from Xiongnu attacks during various successive dynasties. Since the 5th century BC, several walls have been built that were referred to as the Great Wall. One of the most famous is the wall built between 220–206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. Little of that wall remains; it lay farther north than the current wall, which was built during the Ming Dynasty.

The Great Wall stretches over approximately 6,400 km (4,000 miles) from Shanhaiguan in the east to Lop Nur in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia, but stretches to over 6,700 km (4,160 miles) in total; a more recent archaeological survey using advanced technologies points out that the entire Great Wall, with all of its branches, stretches for 8,851.8 km (5,500.3 mi). At its peak, the Ming Wall was guarded by more than one million men. It has been estimated that somewhere in the range of 2 to 3 million Chinese died as part of the centuries-long project of building the wall.


mthomas768 said...

Nice pics, thanks for sharing! That wall-up-the-mountain looks treacherous!

Mr Baron said...

It is just amazing when you are looking out and seeing the wall go up and down the hills. My wife would like to go back but to a different part of The Wall. I would like to go early in the morning to get the bright contrast from the morning sun. It was a bit overcast when we were there with a bit of a haze, to the pictures are rather grey.

I will try to post more pictures later this week.