travel junkie climbs the great wall of china5:15 AM
Or just in case you haven’t, I might as well break it to you.
The great wall of china, in its 8851 kilometer-long glory, cannot be seen from the moon by the naked eye. Evidently, that supposed trivia was just some sick joke played on us back in the day. (It was so sick that it was published in textbooks around the world!) This was confirmed by NASA back in 2005;
"It has become a space-based myth. The Great Wall of China, frequently billed as the only man-made object visible from space, generally isn't, at least to the unaided eye in low Earth orbit. It certainly isn't visible from the Moon.
You can, though, see a lot of other results of human activity.
The visible wall theory was shaken after China's own astronaut, Yang Liwei, said he couldn’t see the historic structure. There was even talk about rewriting textbooks that espouse the theory, a formidable task in the Earth’s most populous nation."
But not even this fact stopped any of us from wanting to climb the Great Wall of China. Weeks before flying out, we already booked ourselves through our hostel a tour to the Mutianyu part of the wall. If it means anything, this was the part of the wall that former US President Bill Clinton visited. (President Ronald Reagan went to Badaling.)
“The Great Wall here is very beautiful, very grand, more beautiful and grander than what I imagined.” ~President Bill Clinton
The mini-bus picked us up at the hostel at exactly 08:30 Sunday morning. Along the way, we saw frozen waterfalls, brown leaf-less trees, and traditional hutongs. It took us about two hours to get to that relatively newly opened part of the wall.
|It was the tail end of winter. Trees were without leaves. Lovely, Lovely, Lovely.|
|Chair lifts taking visitors to the wall.|
|The mountains seem romantic and eerie at the same time.|
|The Great Wall snakes its way up to the top|
|The Great Wall goes as far as the eyes can see.|
|This commie-dressed hawker tried to sell me a snicker bar after I had my photo taken with him.|
|Tampeeps on the Great Wall!|
|Jeff and Tin takes a breather.|
|More commie-dressed hawkers along the wall|
|That's the way down, the toboggan way down.|
|We'll be sliding down that shiny slippery path.|
|All systems go for my Toboggan ride. Photo by Kristine Yu|
|This is our table, with people from almost every corner of the globe. (We're missing a north american.) Photo by Jenie Gabriel|
|This is the second table with Malaysian and American families & our friend, Raffy. Photo by Jenie Gabriel|
|The gates to the Ming Tombs|
|There were seats at the courtryard. (But why would you want to linger at a graveyard? Even at an imperial one?)|
|The guards of the Ming Tombs Museum|
We got back to Beijing around six-thirty in the evening. With a pleasant surprise waiting for me at the hostel.
|When we got back to the hostel, it was twilight.|
|Look at who I found standing by our hostel's front door!|