The Great Wall

Finally.  The Great Wall, perhaps the most recognizable symbol of China, was our arranged excursion for the day.  Going to this famous place, it was sort of like earning my stripes, that I would have officially visited China once I could check the Great Wall off my list.

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Various vendors selling their wares

The build up to the whole thing was very exciting.  I informed my friends and family back home, cleared my camera of all the photos I’d already taken to make room, and checked the weather.  Well, not all was well any more.  The weather called for clouds and thunderstorms.  I allowed myself to be briefly bummed out, complaining to people back home and such, before forcing myself to be positive.  As my younger brother hopefully said, “Pictures of the Great Wall disappearing into the mist could be really cool”.

The day dawned early and, of course, misty.  Inner Aleeya groaned with irritation, ‘Really? Today of all days?’.  Still, I was determined to see the Great Wall, the mist couldn’t have possibly stolen all it’s glory.

The long drive ended in a sort of street bazaar market, where I purchased presents for loved ones, and stairs.  Lots of stairs.  I can now truly say I have climbed the Great Wall.

I arrived at the top, despite a small asthma scare, I found myself to have arrived at a place of mixed feelings.

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Into the Mist

On the one hand, I was tired, breathing hard, soaked from rain and sweat, and staring directly into an all encompassing cocoon of mist.  On the other hand, the Great Wall, even obscured, is a sight to behold.  As we strolled along the massive stone structure, occasionally joking about snapping scenic shots, I was constantly floored.  The Wall is truly massive, thinking about when it was built, how long it had lasted, the kind of man power it must have taken, I couldn’t help but be impressed.  My brother wasn’t all wrong either; shots of The Great Wall disappearing into the mist are somewhat mysterious.