John and I went to Beijing for 6 days in October 2011.
On our last day we went to The Great Wall of China. There really aren’t words to describe the way I felt that day so hopefully my pictures can tell most of the story.
But honestly, my pictures just don’t do it justice.
We hired Ping with Private Taxi Beijing for our airport transfers as well as to The Wall.
He drove us to the Huang Hua Cheng section located at Jiuduhe Town, Huairou District about an hour from Beijing.
It was constructed around 1404 during the Ming Dynasty and is no longer open to the public.
Access is through a farmer’s property only.
We pretty much had it all to ourselves. I think we saw about 10 people the whole time were hiking and most of those were in the first 30 minutes.
The climb at Huang Hua Cheng is an exciting challenge because it doesn’t have stone steps or smooth paths like the renovated sections at Badaling and Juyongguan Pass.
It was overwhelming!
At one point I just stopped climbing and slowly turned in a circle taking in everything around me.
I am standing on The Great Wall of China.
Ping said that people usually walk to the tower with the ladder and then turn around.
We decided to go just a little bit further.
We agreed to walk to the tower at the top of this next picture, and then decide what we’d do from there.
It was steep with loose rocks.
Our thighs were burning and our adrenaline was rushing.
We made it! Just one last super steep climb to the top tower.
The next section of the wall appeared to be in poor shape with parts of the path missing so we started our hike back down.
We saw a couple of guys who were heading up and they offered to take our picture.
They were the first people we had seen in well over an hour and we didn’t see anyone else the rest of the time we were on The Wall.
It was peaceful.
In many ways it still doesn’t seem real.