This weekend I finally visited China’s Great Wall – let me tell you, it did not disappoint. I can’t describe how inspiring is it to visit something so well-known and that’s over 1,000 years old. So historic and so monumental – it gave me a whole new appreciation for life; past, present and future.
Our guide suggested we go to the Juyonguan Pass section of the wall as it would be less crowded and more beautiful than the more famous mountain-pass, Badaling. Surrounded by breathtaking mountains and clean, fresh air, we began our hike up the Wall.
If for a minute you think the Wall is mostly flat, think again. When they say “Mountain Pass” they really need to emphasize the “mountain” part. It was literally straight uphill. The steps ranged from small easy steps, to huge two-foot-high steps. I have absolutely no idea how people managed to walk this path daily. Props to you my ancient Chinese friends.
Each landing was equipped with an incredible view of China’s natural landscape. Just when you thought you’d seen every angle of the mountains, you’d climb another 200 feet and witness a view more incredible than the last.
“Going up is the hardest part,” they told me, “coming down is easy,” they said. All I have to say to that is: HA!
By the time you get to the highest point your legs will take you, your muscles are so shakey and tired that walking down is almost more challenging. Knowing me and my clumsiness, I was so afraid of missing a giant step down and having a domino-effect on everyone else. (Wouldn’t that make a great YouTube video…)
It was truly a remarkable experience I will never forget. The scenery alone is worth the hike, let alone being part of ancient Chinese history.
After the Great Wall we visited the Ming Tombs. Although beautiful, I have to say I kind of felt like I was in a zombie apocalypse here. Allow me to expand.
Apparently Chinese people are very superstitious and feel that burial grounds are bad luck. This means that no one visits the Ming Tombs. In my past month here, everywhere I’ve gone has been packed with people – PACKED! Ming Tombs: empty.
There was literally us five and maybe five other people. You’d think having the place to ourselves would be nice, but instead it just really freaked me out. I’m so used to being pushed and shoved that I’ve forgotten what personal space feels like.
The architecture surrounding the Tombs was beautiful. The detail the Chinese people put into their buildings is outstanding. Hand painted and hand carved from floor to ceiling. Absolute perfection.
We also visited a jade factory where I bought myself a charm for my bracelet! The green colour of the jade will be a perfect addition. The charm is a small round jade circle with a Chinese symbol for happiness inside.
For anyone who knows me, I’m quite the happy gal. I always try to think positively and live life with a smile on my face. And now I get to carry some happiness with me wherever I go. Loves it. It’s so pretty and I can’t wait to add it on!
I can’t even imagine what else is coming my way… More pics below!
Ashton Says: Be sure to visit international heritage sites and take the time to breathe it all in. It’s so easy to get caught in our own little bubbles and forget that we are just small pieces to a huge never-ending puzzle. Find your spot.