Monday, November 16, 2009

Great Wall of China with my folks

The two people below are the reason for the little respite I enjoyed last week. I really love my parents and my job is such that I don't see them as often as I'd like.
When we get together we have real fun.
Really good belly laughs.
The kind you delight in because they're an expression of sheer happiness and the wonder of being with people you feel a part of.
We visited the Mutianyu section of the Wall.
It takes about an hour and a half to drive from Beijing and we did it in the delightful indulgence of the hotel Audi A6.
Not the most economical of methods but what the hell, they ARE my parents and I didn't need much more than that for an excuse to splurge.

The wall was built, maintained and rebuilt between the 5th and 16th centuries. Archaeological surveys put its length north of 8,000 kms.
To be precise: 6200 kms of actual wall and the rest mounds, rivers, fortifications and trenches. Pretty amazing given Europeans were just mastering the art of mud hut construction and working their way up to stockades made of sharpened sticks.
There are arguments back and forth regarding which section is the most beautiful but the mountains at Mutianyu to me are pretty dramatic.
All the western comforts have been deployed to part sweaty foreigners from their money. In our case we were shivering foreigners as the temperature was hovering around freezing. Whereas the last time I went to the wall I used a creaky wooden ladder, here you get a very Nordic mode of transport.
As you can see the weather had taken a turn for the better and the sky was clear and blue.
Walking along the wall can be a pretty energetic endeavour.
Some of the climbs are almost vertical.
I think tough as it is going up, going down is scarier.
That's it for the Great Wall.
I got some great pictures at the Temple of Heaven on our last afternoon.
I'll post them as and when.
My holidays are over and I go to Jakarta on Wednesday.
I have a pretty tight itinerary but I'll do my best to get some pictures of that sprawling, chaotic city.
That's all for today, so go about your business.


Anonymous said...

Great pictures, I like them.
And it is so nice to see your smile also. haha

sister sara said...

Wonderful wonderful wonderful M&D had the time of their lives with you - so thrilled to see your pics and read your enjoyment - isn't that a slice of what life is really all about ! Wonderful sorry I wasn't there !

Anonymous said...

Great time had by all at the Wall. Your folks are great.

Any chance they might adopt me?