Who climbs the Great Wall in China

Today we drove two hours outside of Beijing to the Great Wall. An amazing display of ancient engineering, this wonder of the world is a highlight of most visitors to China. The views were breathtaking, even from the base coffee shop.

All thirteen members of our group climbed to various towers, depending on interest and ability. Jared climbed to the very top and met some amazing people with amazing stories.

An older Australian man, completing his last bucket list item, has terminal cancer.  He made it to the end of the wall.  A woman with a baby in a backpack, older Chinese people on pilgrimages and hundreds of tourists from around the world round out the diversity here.  Tourists from all around the world, several who made the trip to China mainly to experience the Great Wall, took in the beauty while climbing and descending.  American tourists are few and far between, but still we had a descent representation there.

Walking the wall is no easy feat; the stairs are unpredictable and worn. Steps range from a few inches to a foot and a half rise with no rhyme or reason.

While there is a railing on the ascent side, it must have been added as an afterthought and at a height for a four foot person. Even I would have had to bend over to benefit. The descent side has no railing. The work was wealth worth the experience and the views.

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