The Great Wall of China lived up to and surpassed my expectations...it was incredible! There are several sections of The Wall to visit. We chose the Mutianyu section because of it's lack of tourists, preservation, and distance from Beijing. We went on a beautiful day (however, extremely HOT). There were few tourists and it took about 2 hours from Beijing. It would have been nice to see a little less preserved area of the wall; however, those areas can sometimes be dangerous and with this heat---the cable car that took us part way up was well worth it!
Quick History: The Great Wall was built, rebuild, and maintained between the 5th Century BC and 16th Century. It stretches over 5,500 miles in the Northern part of China. It is the largest structure made by human in regards to surface area and mass. It has been estimated that approximately 2 to 3 million Chinese died while building the Wall. It's main purpose was the protect several empires from Northern nomadic groups. During the Ming Dynasty, it is estimated that over 1 million men guarded that area of the Wall at a time. In 2009, 180 additional miles of the wall were found that was built during the Ming Dynasty.
I found a few names carved into the wall that I recognized...
It was so hot!
Yes, I used several fans to keep me cool.
Just hangin' around on the Great Wall of China.
I really loved the beautiful mountains.