Day 6: The Great Wall of China

This morning we travelled to Mutianyu (90 kilometres north-east of Beijing) to visit China’s most famous attraction – the Great Wall of China. Built over 2000 years ago, the Great Wall of China stretches 5000 kilometres from the Shanhaiguan Pass on the east coast to the Gobi Desert in the west. Walk along the wall admiring the panoramic views and reflect on the enormity of the material and labour required for its construction. It is estimated that 1 million people were used at different stages during the construction periods and that thousands died building it.

For over two thousand years the Great Wall of China separated two cultures. The nomads in the north were a primitive people selling livestock to the agricultural society in the southern region. There were frequent military conflicts as the nomads raided the relatively more advanced technology of the south. A visit to the Great Wall is a review of over two thousand years of history.

Construction of the wall began in the 7th century BC. The separatist ducal states in the north built walls around their territories to ward off invasions from the neighbouring states. In 221 BC Qin Shi Huang unified China and linked these walls, laying the foundation for the present Great Wall. In later dynasties, the Wall was repaired and strengthened. The present Great Wall was mainly built in the Ming Dynasty over 600 years ago.

This gigantic project consumed a lot of manpower and wealth. The building material used would suffice to build a road, 5 meters wide and 35 centimetres thick, that would reach around the world three times. It also displayed the wisdom of the Chinese people.

There is a saying in China, “One cannot be called a hero if he cannot reach the Great Wall.” The Great Wall is a monument to the Chinese nation. Ironically the wall never achieved its aim – to prevent invaders from the north.

These hero’s walked the hardest bit of the wall. Heath, Blade, Callum, Darren, Kelli, Robyn and Mitch. CONGRATULATIONS to them all. We are very proud as you all should be.

Couldn’t wipe the smile off Cal’s face after making it to the 5th tower!

Some people came down on the gondola. Others came all the way down on toboggans. Both the fast and slow forms of transport were awesome.

Later that night, they enjoyed a foot massage to take away the stresses of the challenging day!

After a fantastic day at The Great Wall of China (which wasn’t built to keep out the rabbits!), three of us had a neck and back massage whilst the rest had a foot massage. This was a highlight as we all had sore bits brought out. I’ll leave it to you who these two are relaxing having a foot massage. Chinese lion from China to the first correct entry submitted in writing with Kim & Mikayla at the office at VRS. Will choose on arrival back home on Thursday.

-Graeme

COMPETITION WINNER UPDATE: Congratulations to Sue Cowper, who correctly guessed that the pairs of feet belong to Callum & Graeme!