The Great Wall

The Great Wall 2
Originally uploaded by Rob Millenaar.

The Wall is truly Great!

After arriving in a city of 13 million people in throbbing heat and after soaking in all these new impressions I was hoping for a quiet stroll along China's famous Great Wall; at least along a section of it at Badaling near Beijing. It started out different. The heat was still stifling, but the real trouble was the number of people who had gathered at the gate and were streaming up the wall. A colorful procession of sweating bodies was making it's way to up the wall, that was surprisingly steep at some places.
Another unfortunate thing was that the thick haze that was covering Beijing didn't clear up. Grand vista's of the Wall snaking through the countyside were not to be today. Despite these drawbacks we happily made our way to the top, continuously harrassed by peddlers trying to sell you picture books of the Wall - naturally I bought one. At the top all the tourists just turned around and went back. The Wall continues however and makes a sharp turn back in the general direction of where we came from. So, after our guide got us a 'I climbed the Great Wall' medal at the top, we decided to take that route and avoid the masses. It turned out that we now had a part of the Wall almost to ourselves. It was here I made the picture of an empty Wall, the way it must have looked like for most of it's many years. A truly Great Wall.


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