Visiting the Great Wall of China is also another item on my bucket list.
The area surrounding the Juyong Pass section of the Great Wall wasn’t particularly picturesque but at the same time, you’ll feel this sense of awe when you see how the wall snakes up the ridges of the mountains.
Also, you know how the wall separates the border of China back then from the Mongols and other enemies. It’s along the freaking border of a country so the few thousand kilometres of wall (8,000++ KM to be more accurate) is really impressive. The thought of how many people have been used and have died building the wall is just mind blowing.
Chairman Mao Zedong once said, “不上长城非好汉 (You are not a good guy/Han if you do not visit/climb the Great Wall)”.
I think he really meant to say, “不上长城非好汗 (You wouldn’t have a good sweating if you do not visit/climb the Great Wall).” It was around 8~10 ºC when I was there at the Great Wall and that little climb did make me sweat like hell as well.
I really give kudos to the people back then who had to climb up and down the thing. They must have been super fit to survive a prolonged period of stay there, especially when it was snowing in the winter.
In the picture above, you can see a section of the Great Wall which has a pretty steep incline of around 60º or so. The steep section of the wall isn’t very big but it sure takes a lot of effort and energy to climb the damn thing. It took me around 30 minutes or more I don’t know, just to climb up that one small section. LOL. I didn’t bother to go all the way up to the peak. Too much effort. Hahaha.
From the top of the steepest section of the Juyong Pass, the above is a taste of what you can see. I totally can see how the wall was useful as border protection. You can post people to patrol at various sections of the wall and from the higher parts of the wall/mountain, you can see enemies approaching from afar.
Back in those days, there wasn’t radio communication technology so the guards would light fires at the top of the wall towers and because there wasn’t many tall buildings, the smoke from the fires could be seen from the guard posts as far away as the Forbidden City and the Emperor could be notified of an impending attack. It was a simple system of communication but it worked.
I was told by my colleague who has been to a few sections of the Great Wall that the Badaling (八达岭关) one is the nicest and also the most crowded.
That said, I would love to take my own sweet time to cover a larger section of the wall but it’ll have to be a next time. We were only allocated 1.5 hours there during our group tour.
Till next time I guess.