The Great Wall of China

27 08 2005

Wow! Magnificent! This is so beautiful. I can’t believe I’m here. How did they do this? I wonder what it was like 700 years ago to be a soldier on this wall.

That and more ran through my head in the first 2 1/2 hours of our 4 1/2- 5 hour hike yesterday. The rest was spent trucking to the end. I enjoyed meandering the first part, especially because it was more uphill during the first half, and more downhill during the second, so it was nice to take the hard part easily. It was amazing to just peer out at the countryside and notice a grove of trees, or that the river in that valley had been damned. And to contemplate life as a solider on this wall, and the effectiveness of the wall its self. The wall is a marvel. It must have taken so many people, so much energy. The places where it’s been restored, it’s a very stark beauty next to the lushness of the mountains. In the center of our hike were the wall was more in ruins, it became more organic looking and blended into the scenery more. I loved the broken down towers. They were my favorite. The architecture or the wall was also something that made me happy. Arched doors and windows. There was a pretty cleaver drainage system. As the group got started, a group of local farmers walked with us, and as we got to the wall, each of us was singled out by one of them. My “guide” was a 32 year old man with two children, a two year old son and a one year old daughter. I found this stuff out in Chinese, and it constituted my first attempt at conversation here in China. The “guides” knew a fair amount of broken english related to the wall. “tower” “soldier” “let’s go”. That didn’t constitute their entire English language skills, but you couldn’t get past basic concepts in english. They also helped us at difficult places, and showed us a shortcut that was really helpful. Their hope was that we’d buy stuff off them at the end. The Wall is definitely now on my top 10 most beautiful places in the world. I love the surrounding hills especially. They’re in the perfect state. Not imposing the way the Rockies can be, but not so worn as the Appalachians. They’re beautiful in color and texture. I loved them. Yesterday is definitely a day in my life I’ll never forget.




One response

11 09 2005

Dear Stephanie,
Or He Se Lon as they are calling you. I was called He Ishung (I think the spelling is right) when we were in Taiwan. It meant Dr. He. It sounds like you got over your cold, and I hope you continue to stay well. Have you met your host family? If you can write to my E-mail would be good too. We were with Jesse a short time on Wed.
Yesterday Lenora and I went to Chicago for a CME meeting in the morning and the to Ikea to buy furniture for them.
I need new brerak shoes on the Volvo and the special order has not come in yet so I used the gears as brakes a lot, but we made it OK. I got nearly 30 MPG with it on the trip. Today was Lenora’s birthday and that took us to Memories of China for supper.
Ir is Monday there now. God bless you this week.
Love, Dad

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