Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Great Wall

On Saturday afternoon, we climbed the Great Wall and it was, well, great!  We all made it to the restrooms just below tower 4 and Matt and Taylor made it all the way to the top eliminating any doubt that they are indeed 'true men.' Taylor was a boy on a mission.  He wanted to get to the top and get the 'I climbed the Great Wall' t-shirt to ensure he would not be mocked by Nicholas and Zhao Yue when he got home.  We took a group photo there and put our lock on the chain and threw the key over the side.  I checked 'Send a Slinky down the Great Wall of China' off of my bucket list even though it didn't work very well.  The steps are too uneven and deep.  It worked best on the sloped parts without steps.  My favorite part was chatting with the people going the opposite direction on the wall.  The Chinese people are so friendly and eager to practice their English.  It's amazing how many functionally bilingual people there are in Beijing.  It was very quickly made apparent to me that I am not one of them.  I only learned that 'bu xie' does not mean, 'no thanks' after an entire day of responding to eager vendors by telling them that there was no need to thank me.  :) 


Climbing the Great Wall is one of those things that you never think you will ever be able to do in your lifetime.  It was quite a feeling to stand there on the wall and look out over the hillside and think about its historical significance.  Matt summed it up best though when he said as he huffed and puffed up the wall, 'Well, I can see why it kept the Mongols out!'

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