mellor-online.co.uk/china march 2001
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Great Wall Beijing 1 Beijing - March 2001

The Great Wall of China north of Beijing, stretches along the northern boundary of China and Mongolia, stretching from the east coast to the natural barrier of the Gobi Desert in the west.

Built more than 2000 years ago in the Qin dynasty by the order of the First Emperor, the wall was made of mounded earth in an attempt to keep out the Mongolian nomads.

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Great Wall Beijing 3 The wall was strengthened in the Ming period, by facing it with brick and stone, and the addition of watchtowers.

It runs along the ridges of several mountain ranges following their natural contours making some parts amazingly steep.

I took this picture standing up, with my camera above my head. You go up using your hands and feet...Coming down is fun!

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Great Wall Beijing 5 Today the Wall is not continuous, but in several sections. Some have become very dependant on tourism to the point where they have become over crowded, and in one section a cable car has been installed to ease the flow of foot traffic to the top.

Luckily for us, not this section.

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Great Wall Beijing 7 This section is at the Juyong Pass, and has undergone some modern renovation.

Never the less I am still amazed at the amount of forced labour it must have taken to build this section alone. Some body had to carry the stone slabs to the top of the mountain!

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Great Wall Beijing 8
Looking back you get an idea of just how high you have climbed, the watchtowers give you a chance to catch your breath before moving on to the next.
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Great Wall Beijing 10 This is the highest point on this section of the wall. I don't know exactly how high it is, because the guide doesn't come with you, instead you are given a 'Free Activity'.

It looked about 900 - 1000 metres.

This is only half way though, you still have to go back down!

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Great Wall Beijing 11 Walking the Great Wall was just as awesome as seeing the Terracotta Warriors. The Chinese are very good at recognizing and preserving their history.

I would like to come back again in a few years, and visit one of the other sections.

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