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The Great Wall of China, Badaling, January 5
Great Wall at Badaling magnify

We climbed a couple of miles of the Great Wall on January 5. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you never forget. The climb was difficult and extremely steep in several sections, steps and cobblestones were uneven, but the views were spectacular with a great sense of Chinese history. Ultimately, the Wall did not keep out invading armies and was breached in the 13th century and the 17th century. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot see it from space.


Vendors selling books, postcards and trinkets are everywhere in Beijing and the surrounding areas, but were particularly aggressive at The Great Wall. One old woman followed us up the wall a mile or so and then waited for us to come down. It’s next to impossible to get them to understand you don’t want to buy anything. We were told that these people are displaced farmers, who have obtained special permits to sell souvenirs.


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