Beijing Trip Pictures 1

1. Mom and Leo – right before I took off – Leo is actually not as sad as he looks. He was watching a cartoon and did not want to be distracted by saying goodbye to me.

2. Liz at Mutianyu Great Wall – The Fall colors were gorgeous! We took a cable car up about halfway, and this picture was shot right before we started hiking uphill.

3. On the hike – This part of the wall (and most of the Great Wall actually) is from the Ming Dynasty era. Although the wall’s history dates back more than 2000 years, most of the wall was built during the Ming Dynasty between 1450-1600 or so. The Ming were trying to keep the Mongols and then the Manchus from invading from the North, which didn’t work. The Manchus ousted the Ming in the 17th century and thus began the Qing Dynasty – the last dynastic era of China.

4. Just as I was thinking to myself, this place would be PERFECT for wedding pictures, I ran into a couple with the same idea.

5. The wall did serve as a useful communication tool back in the day. The wall is connected by a series of guard towers, and by day, the guards would send messages (warning of a coming invasion, for example) by smoke, and by night, by fire. This was a quick way to spread the word.

6. This picture was taken right before I scaled the stairs behind me to get to the top tower. This picture really doesn’t do justice to how steep the stairs are, and I’m sure my belly really isn’t quite that big, right? It’s gotta be the shirt. In any case, this hike was a great workout, and I feel like I earned my supper!

7. At the top – The view was well worth the climb. Awesome!

The Great Wall is really Great, and even though you really can’t see the wall from space (yep, that’s just a legend), it’s still a pretty impressive and fantastic feat of man. It does sort of boggle my mind that the Chinese spent so much time building the wall throughout history even though it wasn’t terribly effective at achieving it’s stated purposes, but hey – sometimes it’s about the process, not about the end result, right? I loved seeing it with my own eyes, and would really like to return to marathon on this Great Wall!

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