Naeemah Johnson and Elodie Huguet, University of Georgia, China, June 9, 2013

We can feel the excitement as we all gathered in the hotel lobby at 8:00 am sharp to board a bus to one of China’s greatest wonders, the Great Wall of China. We were informed to be ready for a strenuous hike compared to our city tour the previous day. It took us 2 hours to get to the starting point of our hike at the east tower with the five notable arrow-holes. While on the bus, we were given a brief introduction to the wall’s expansive history. One after another we took turns to read out printed information to optimize everybody’s attention. Just to give a short summary, the great mural was built by the Han populace to keep the northern nomadic tribes from devastating their agricultural plantations. The wall is about 6000 miles long and was completed over three dynasties. It reached its full length during the Ming dynasty and was then breached at the end of the Qing dynasty. The wall was abandoned and demolished by men for its resources until the Chinese government started protecting the monument in 1980. Despite the rainy conditions, we were glad to note the fog present through Saturday dissipated overnight, which allowed us to have a much clearer view of the wall. Our knowledgeable guide selected a less frequented portion of the wall for us to hike. If also considering the rain and the time of the day we walked the wall, we were thrilled to pass only very few tourists. We walked 13 kilometers. The first part of the wall we walked was non-renovated, while the second portion was reconstituted based on its original architecture.

Once we reached the top of the wall to begin our journey, the first things that were seen were the rolling mountains with dense greenery as far as the eye could see. Because of the rain, mist draped their peaks majestically. Not only were we standing on a historical structure created over two thousand years ago, but we were also standing on what divided China from Mongolia. After capturing many pictures of this monumental moment, our group began our hike along the wall. Because of the mountainous range, the wall was anything but flat. We had to carefully climb uneven stairs with loose stones; some stairs were constructed with such a steep decent and small steps that only one foot at a time could be placed sideways on each step.  As we made our way along the wall, we stopped in some of the forts that were used for purposes of patrolling and living quarters. However, they are now used by the local farmers to sell food and

We can feel the excitement as we all gathered in the hotel lobby at 8:00 am sharp to board a bus to one of China’s greatest wonders, the Great Wall of China. We were informed to be ready for a strenuous hike compared to our city tour the previous day. It took us 2 hours to get to the starting point of our hike at the east tower with the five notable arrow-holes. While on the bus, we were given a brief introduction to the wall’s expansive history. One after another we took turns to read out printed information to optimize everybody’s attention. Just to give a short summary, the great mural was built by the Han populace to keep the northern nomadic tribes from devastating their agricultural plantations. The wall is about 6000 miles long and was completed over three dynasties. It reached its full length during the Ming dynasty and was then breached at the end of the Qing dynasty. The wall was abandoned and demolished by men for its resources until the Chinese government started protecting the monument in 1980. Despite the rainy conditions, we were glad to note the fog present through Saturday dissipated overnight, which allowed us to have a much clearer view of the wall. Our knowledgeable guide selected a less frequented portion of the wall for us to hike. If also considering the rain and the time of the day we walked the wall, we were thrilled to pass only very few tourists. We walked 13 kilometers. The first part of the wall we walked was non-renovated, while the second portion was reconstituted based on its original architecture.

Once we reached the top of the wall to begin our journey, the first things that were seen were the rolling mountains with dense greenery as far as the eye could see. Because of the rain, mist draped their peaks majestically. Not only were we standing on a historical structure created over two thousand years ago, but we were also standing on what divided China from Mongolia. After capturing many pictures of this monumental moment, our group began our hike along the wall. Because of the mountainous range, the wall was anything but flat. We had to carefully climb uneven stairs with loose stones; some stairs were constructed with such a steep decent and small steps that only one foot at a time could be placed sideways on each step.  As we made our way along the wall, we stopped in some of the forts that were used for purposes of patrolling and living quarters. However, they are now used by the local farmers to sell food and

We can feel the excitement as we all gathered in the hotel lobby at 8:00 am sharp to board a bus to one of China’s greatest wonders, the Great Wall of China. We were informed to be ready for a strenuous hike compared to our city tour the previous day. It took us 2 hours to get to the starting point of our hike at the east tower with the five notable arrow-holes. While on the bus, we were given a brief introduction to the wall’s expansive history. One after another we took turns to read out printed information to optimize everybody’s attention. Just to give a short summary, the great mural was built by the Han populace to keep the northern nomadic tribes from devastating their agricultural plantations. The wall is about 6000 miles long and was completed over three dynasties. It reached its full length during the Ming dynasty and was then breached at the end of the Qing dynasty. The wall was abandoned and demolished by men for its resources until the Chinese government started protecting the monument in 1980. Despite the rainy conditions, we were glad to note the fog present through Saturday dissipated overnight, which allowed us to have a much clearer view of the wall. Our knowledgeable guide selected a less frequented portion of the wall for us to hike. If also considering the rain and the time of the day we walked the wall, we were thrilled to pass only very few tourists. We walked 13 kilometers. The first part of the wall we walked was non-renovated, while the second portion was reconstituted based on its original architecture.

Once we reached the top of the wall to begin our journey, the first things that were seen were the rolling mountains with dense greenery as far as the eye could see. Because of the rain, mist draped their peaks majestically. Not only were we standing on a historical structure created over two thousand years ago, but we were also standing on what divided China from Mongolia. After capturing many pictures of this monumental moment, our group began our hike along the wall. Because of the mountainous range, the wall was anything but flat. We had to carefully climb uneven stairs with loose stones; some stairs were constructed with such a steep decent and small steps that only one foot at a time could be placed sideways on each step.  As we made our way along the wall, we stopped in some of the forts that were used for purposes of patrolling and living quarters. However, they are now used by the local farmers to sell food and supplies to visiting tourists.

After about 3-4 hours, our hike along the Great Wall of China came to a end. To remember this “once in a life-time” experience, we were given certificates that acknowledged our accomplishments. We made our decent from the Great Wall of China with a sense of awe at the ingenuity, sacrifice, and perseverance that went into building this historical structure so long ago.