Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Climbing the Great Wall of China

Of course I had to do one of my reflection blogs on climbing the Great Wall of China. I have always wanted to climb the Great Wall. I have ran the bulls in Pamplona and climbed the pyramids in Egypt. Climbing the wall meant so much to me and was an experience I will never forget. This was the part of the trip I was looking forward to the most. I remember sitting on the bus waiting and waiting to get there. The ride wasn't that long, but it seemed as if it was taking forever. I am not sure what I expected out of my first view of the magnificient wall, but I can gurantee that what I saw exceeded anything that I could have expected. As we were making our way up into the mountains, twisting and climbing along the edges the wall was hidden from my sight. I knew it was just beyond one more hill, and felt that way for about ten minutes. The anticipation was like none other I had seen. All of a sudden we made a turn and it was there. No, not a small section of the wall peaking out of the mountains and reaching to the sky, but what seemed like the entire wall. It was to my right it was to my left it was in front of and behind me all at once. The great dragon completely surrounded me. I eagerly got off the bus, took the group picture, and set off on my climb. I took pictures of my first step and was so excited. While climbing I met many friendly Chinese and other foreigners and stopped to take photographs with them. I also viewed the "Love Locks". I am not sure if you remember them, but they were on the right side of the wall as we climbed up. There were hundreds of padlocks attached to a chain with red ribbons tied to them. These locks were put on the Great Wall by young lovers after their marriage. They lock it together and then throw the key over the wall to symbolize their everlasting love. I didn't know what they were when I saw them, but after looking it up the Great Wall is a perfect location for something like this. It is most certainly an everlasting structure and a love should aspire to have that staying power. While I was climbing I did not realize quite how far I had to go. After the two towers I was tired. I paused and got some souveniers. I realized time was growing short and basically had to run to the top. It hurt very much, but was well worth it. The view from the top was beautiful. And to think that this is the only man made structure you can see from space and I climbed the top of it . It is a great feeling and a great sense of accomplishment. I understand why the Chinese people are so proud of the wall and am proud as well.

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