Day By Day

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Return to China -- Part 5, The Great Wall

Our next day began with a visit to the Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass. This section of the wall is famous, having been a military stronghold since the 88th century BC, and because of its proximity to Beijing is a favorite tourist destination. It is traditional for people to climb the steps to view the wall from a high place. I had done that two years ago and had no interest in repeating the experience so I remained at the main gate while others tried to prove themselves to be "real" men and women.

This is a picture of the more difficult climb. Three of our party ascended and only one returned. The other two took a wrong turn and wound up in a parking lot some distance away from the main group, which caused our guides no small amount of consternation. Eventually we were all reunited.

The easier slope favored by most. It's actually not all that easy, largely because the steps are very uneven. You have to keep an eye on where you place your feet because it's a long tumble down.

I wasn't the only one to remain on the lower levels of the wall.

And while we amused ourselves in various ways, our guide took a short nap at a coffee shop.

Then it was back onto the bus and off to our next destination -- a government-run ceramics outlet for one of many "shopping opportunities" we enjoyed.

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