The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China! This section of the Great Wall was at Mutianyu. It is supposed to be far less crowded than other sections of the wall
And so the climb begins!


When this section of the wall was built during the Northern Qi Dynasty (6th century), there were no obvious regulations for standardized steps, but that hasn't stopped tourists from wearing away the stone
A view from inside one of the watchtowers, where we would stop to hide from the hot summer sun

A watchtower


Looking back at how far we had hiked...


But we still had many steps before us.


The last leg of the journey


A group of men share a meal at the highest watchtower on the wall


Well-worn stairs inside the highest watchtower. The view from here was spectacular even with all the haze.


Couples attach these locks to the railings in the hope that their love will last until the lock breaks.
We hiked down in 1/3 of the time it took us to hike up, but that's because we couldn't stop for long or our legs would start shaking. We were sore for two days afterward. This section was so steep that you felt as if you would fall forward and tumble down the stairs with every step you took.


Offerings beneath a statue of Yongle, the third Ming emperor, at the Ming Tombs


Incense burning outside the Spirit Tower
Wall inside the Spirit Tower