The Great Wall in 13 Degrees

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An ominous frozen waterfall greeted us as we left the main road.

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And then there was the business of entering the park, paying the entrance fee, paying for the bus, then paying for the gondola ride up.

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In other words, bring your wallet. They’re going to squeeze you.)

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But once you’re there, the views are amazing, the wall is incredible.

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I was surprised at how uneven the steps were.

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I shouldn’t have been, because that thing’s been there for hundreds of years. Some settling is to be expected.

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We hiked for as long as we had time.

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It took effort to pay attention to my steps, because not only were the stairs uneven, they’re tiny, so you can’t walk in a normal stride. And the walk can be extremely steep. I can’t imagine running the Great Wall Marathon. (Which you know my husband would do in an instant, given the opportunity. Even if they gave him soap to eat.)

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I’d always pictured it as a smooth sidewalk up on top of the wall, but now that seems ridiculous, given how the wall hugs the ridges of the mountains.

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And while it obviously wasn’t the most pleasant time to be outdoors, it sure was worth it to be there when the place was near-deserted.

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So the wall was amazing, incredible and all that. But it pays to travel with local friends, because they already know all the tricks. Getting down from the wall might have been the most exciting part of the trip.

To Be Continued.

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