[Posted on behalf of Abby D.]
Our trip to the Great Wall this morning was excellent. We visited the Mutianyu section of the wall, much of which was built during the Ming Dynasty. Despite cloudy skies, we had quite good views of the surrounding area and the wall itself. Many of us were awed by it — the history of it, the feat of constructing it, and the beauty of the scenery. Ian, Mike, Lisa, and Jess covered the most ground in terms of climbing, but all of us got our fair share of exercise today. Emily was surprised by how international our experience on the wall was. We came across visitors from Europe, the United States and Asia. Lila met a couple traveling from India, one of whom was wearing a Red Sox cap. Their son is currently in Boston, so they are fans. The interconnectedness of today’s world was revealed to us firsthand on top of the wall!
It came as a surprise to many of us that you can take an alpine slide to get back down from the wall. At least eight in the group couldn’t resist, including Amy who took photos the whole way down.
After lunch we visited the Sacred Way of the Ming Tombs. This beautiful, 8,000-meter-long pathway leads to the imperial burial grounds of 13 Ming emperors. Lined with stone statues of guardian animals and officials, the path was constructed as a way for the emperor to make his return to heaven.
Tomorrow morning we’re off to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.
Photos: 1) Group on the Great Wall 2) The Sacred Way 3) The Memorial Archway