It is a myth that the Great Wall of China is visible from space but one time, when the air was exceptionally clear, I saw it from the window of the airplane as I headed for home. The picture is not great, taken with my old cell phone through a plane window, but I was pretty excited since this is the part of the wall that I walked.
One thing that fascinated me when I researched about the Great Wall of China is that it was used more for communication than for separation. In the days before cell phones, messages could be sent quickly over long distances along the wall using smoke, flares and flags.
These are photos from the reconstructed area called Mutianyu. It is less crowded than Badaling, which is more easily accessed from Beijing. As I mentioned we had a private driver to our hotel as part of Wild Great Wall’s self-guided tour so we did not have to figure out how to get back to the city.
Comparing from the photos I posted last week, Which Way. You can see that the reconstruction and maintenance are a monumental endeavor. The wall is along the crest of the hills and the area is not accessed by roads, the materials are heavy and there is a lot of territory to cover.
Traveling this section there are a lot of stairs, steep and uneven in many places.
These are from a walk we took on the Great Wall of China last spring, from Jiankou to Mutianyu. These are all from the unimproved section (Mutianyu is one of the large sections that has been improved.)
The walk was about five miles and the package we used had a driver who drove us to Jiankou, then walked with us to the first tower on the wall (that is a steep-ish, but short hike), after taking our picture he returned to the car and drove around to Mutianyu to meet us. Once on the wall you can follow it and the instructions provided easily. I can recommend the outfit we used: “Wild Great Wall”, I’ve used them three times for different activity levels. We all felt that is was beneficial to see both the unreconstructed and the reconstructed wall. If I stay on task this week (not real good odds) I will post pictures from the reconstructed section of the wall next week.
The “carriage way” along the top of the Great Wall of China was used to get people and messages across China easily.
Yes I went up. I am in the top photo, my dad took the picture. Yes, it was nerve wracking. Being afraid of falling doesn’t necessarily make you a coward, just cautious.