Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Great Wall

I finally remembered to finish my posts from our trip to China. In January. We went to the Wall prior to getting Dean.

Our first good view of the wall, while traveling up the ski lift. The alpine slide we would eventually take down from the Wall. Way fun!! I only got asked to slow down once.
The ski lift.

How beautiful is that?

If you look closely you can see the nearby village in the valley where many of the people working on the Wall live. They walk over to the Wall daily to sell candies and sodas to tourists like us. I think I met the nicest of the village residents, however, and it was all due to my laziness. Actually we had walked straight up (seemed to me) for miles and miles and I couldn't take it anymore so I finally collapsed in a heap at the feet of this kind stranger. John kept walking up the Wall and tried to pretend like he didn't know me.
This kind man of 56 put me on my feet again and then proceded to talk our ears off (mine, as well as our guide's). He and his wife came over daily to work. He pointed down the hill I had just climbed and pointed out his wife's station. He told us that he had her work there so she wouldn't have to make the hard climb every day. He didn't say this, but I also suspect that she stayed much warmer in the sun than he did in the shade.
Here he is pulling up my jeans! As I mentioned, John had climbed on without us and got to the top of the watchtower where he snapped this picture. The Chinese man had already struck up a conversation with us and then, with no warning whatsoever, reached over and pulled my jeans up to see if I had layered properly!! In fact, I was over layered and hot from the climb and so he was suitably impressed. Only in China do they have the layering police!! Normally they only patrol newly adopted children, but I guess my pathetic countenance put me on the grid.

John was able to snap some beautiful pictures from his quite lofty perch. He went as far as he could in the direction we had decided to go. After that, the wall has not been renovated and is in ruins.

The pictures are out of order, but this is the section that I climbed. Am I wrong, isn't that straight up???

That is a crumbling watchtower on the crest of the nearest hill.

John and I at the entrance to the Wall from the ski lift. John, our amazing guide Angela, and I are still ready and eager to get climbing.
If I ever were to go to China again I would want Angela as my guide. She was the best!!
Mountain man!
I wonder how old these steps are?
So there you have it. A lazy girl's guide to making memories on the Great Wall of China.

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