Posts Tagged With: Great Wall of China

The Great Wall -Boundary Post #2

This week’s theme is boundaries and as I said in the last post I feel boundaries can be physical, political or emotional. My first post showed something very political with pictures of the DMZ between North and South Korea.

In this post I want to show something that can be emotional as well as physical.

The Great Wall - a boundary physical as well as emotional

The Great Wall – a boundary physical as well as emotional

The Great Wall of China was an easy link to boundaries that are physical and even political. The wall was built to keep out the invaders from long ago. It divided the boundaries between the Chinese civilization and the Huns and Mongolians. However, for me it is also emotional as I think about our time in China. It was a place I never thought I would see in real life. I was lucky enough to visit it twice. We have many fond memories of trips and friends in China. Sometimes it feels a little emotional as we move on across boundaries. The challenges we faced while there and how it changed us crossed cultural boundaries within. I wish there was a photo to show that emotional journey, but this was the best I could do. Feelings cannot always be put into words, or displayed in a photo. It is personal about my experiences then and now, so you will just have to trust me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

There are more interpretations of boundaries here.

 

 

Categories: China, History, teaching overseas, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , ,

Endurance -Achieve your goals & dreams

Part of being an expat has offered us a great opportunity to travel. The world became smaller. Things that most people dream of are just around the corner, in our backyard or a short trip away. We have been lucky enough to see the Great Wall of China. My first visit was with a tour group, so the time was limited. I wished to get up these steep steps, but managed barely half way before the time forced me back. My goal, if I ever returned, was to get further. I really wanted to reach the top of those steps and the end of the restored section of the wall where some of the great monument lay crumbling from countless footsteps and hundreds of years.

This past summer we were able to return. Here is the starting point around gate 13 at the Mutianyu section of the wall. Goal in sight we started off.

Just after the cable car the start of the wall... go as far as you dare.

Just after the cable car the start of the wall… go as far as you dare.

 

Around gate 19 or 20 we can see the steepest section ahead.

Warning steep climb ahead

Warning steep climb ahead

The top! The day was glorious with clear blue skies and we could see further in the distance than our last trip to the wall. The wall snaked and turned over the green hills into the distance. August can be quite hot and humid, but today was reasonable. Once we started the climb I was sweating quite a lot. My legs began to shake and I wasn’t sure if I could make it. I had just recovered from a bad virus that sapped all my energy and strength and I was still not 100%. Throw in a touch of jet lag and a busy travel schedule to top it off. Later I would discover I was sick again and in 2 days time the same or similar virus returned and I was in bed. I was determined. I stopped regularly and took in the view while I rested. I drank lots of water and pushed on.

Reward... a view like this!

Reward… a view like this!

Look at the rocks to the left then look at the first picture. That will give you perspective how FAR we went.

Look at the rocks to the left then look at the first picture. That will give you perspective how FAR we went.

My endurance paid off and I made it to the top of the steps and past the final gate #23 open to tourists. We went to 24, but just couldn’t make the next steep climb on unsecured steps to #25. Maybe next time. Sometimes it is best to leave some travel dreams ‘undone’ so you have the desire to return.

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We started at the star… gate13. We went right to the end of the map (left side) #24. Approx. 5km one way and hundreds of steps.

Have you ever pushed yourself even when your body and mind said “I can’t”? Tell me about it in the comment section, or join Word Press this week for their photo challenge Endurance.

Sorry I am still not into my regular routine and I post when I can. Please stay tuned…

 

Categories: Chinese Adventures, History, Photography, teaching overseas, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Tip Toe Travels

Oh if my feet could talk the stories they would tell. For the last week we have been on a whirlwind tour of the globe travelling half way around the world from Toronto, Canada to China with some stops in between. July 30th we left Canada and flew Toronto to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. We had 2 nights and 3 days in Dubai. From there we flew to Shanghai and after 2 nights here we travelled north to Beijing to see the Great Wall. After 2 nights and 3 days we returned to Shanghai where we have settled with some much needed rest.

Why would we do such an intense schedule with such great distances you may wonder…. well a friend from home made the return journey with us and we had to make the most of her time. We tried to fit in as much as we could before my return to work. After planes, trains and automobiles, desert, rock, mountains and sidewalk not to mention little sleep and numerous time zones we managed to fight off jet lag and see a lot in a short period of time.

The following post will be a brief summary of events andย at a later date I will write more .

Canada – soft green grass to tickle my toes as we prepared to leave for the airport.

Canadian Feet -EH?

Canadian Feet -EH?

30,000+ feet up – on the plane somewhere between Canada and Dubai.

High above the clouds

High above the clouds

Dubai – in Dubai we did a desert safari. Sand as far as you can see….

in the dunes

in the dunes

China – the Great Wall. Last trip we did a tour and didn’t get to hike as far as I would have liked. This time we hiked from Tower 14 to 24… almost to 25. That is a lot of steps.

a little rest on the stairs before the big hike to the top

a little rest on the stairs before the big hike to the top

Click Clack -tired toes resting on the train back to Shanghai.

speeding from Beijng to Shanghai at 300KM/hr

speeding from Beijing to Shanghai at 300KM/hr

ย What have your feet been up to lately?

Stay tuned for more…

 

 

Categories: Chinese Adventures, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Between & Perspective: Photo Challenge

Between the arches and bricks of the Great Wall of China I could see the shades of the mountains and just pick out the shadowy outline of one of the many gates that dot the length of the wall. From my point of view I felt so small as I strained my eyes to take it all in.

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Between ancient arches

Between ancient arches

In Cambodia the long lines of stone masonry gave me an interesting perspective. As I stood between the long galleries, with many other people, at the Angkor Watt and Ta Prohm temples my eye was drawn along the length of covered passages . Old stone fallen and restored.

Say Cheese :)

Say Cheese ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Check out Bastet Pixleventures and Word Press this week to see more.

 

Next weekend will be the ‘official’ last weekend for the Festivals and Gatherings theme for my monthly challenge Tourist in Your Own Town. Stay tuned for a new theme in July which, I will post once I return to Canada and get over jet lag ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Categories: Photography, Tourist in My Own Town, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

GRAND: Weekly Photo Challenge

In the Grand scheme of things were are a small fish in a big sea and we should make the most out of everyday. I always work hard and try my best. My reward to myself for working hard is dreaming of Grand vacations. Seeing the world and learning about it first hand is truly a Grand experience. From majestic world class cities, to modern wonders and landmarks I want to see as much as I can. I must say I have been lucky and hit more places than the average Joe. One of the Grandest adventures and experiences of a life time was getting to see the Grand Great Wall of China. We had been living in Shanghai nearly 3 years and it was so close, yet so far away. To finally get there was surreal. Trying to take it all in was impossible. To head up a steep hillside by cable car and suddenly see it come into sight was breath taking. Straining your eyes as far as you could see was only a small fraction of the Grand architecture that snakes and winds its way across the country.

The Great Wall - How Grand.

The Great Wall – How Grand.

Big Mountains make the wall look so small as it twists, turns and balances along the ridge.

Big Mountains make the wall look so small as it twists, turns and balances along the ridge.

A small section of the Great Wall.

A small section of the Great Wall.

The Great Wall is wide, tall and long. What could be Grander than this? If you have an example tell me about it below in the comments, or head to Word Press and find out how to post your own.

Stay tuned…

Categories: Photography, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , ,