Wednesday, November 5, 2014

This Old Friend

Yesterday was my last (or next-to-last, depending on next week) hike on the Great Wall. It couldn't have been a more spectacular day. Even though the air in the city began with a very unpromising AQI of over 200, it dropped off not long after we arrived at Gubeiko on the Great Wall. By the time we got up to the Wall, the sky had become blue and we were able to shed layers and jackets. I hiked in a tee-shirt for most of the November day. Even the wind, which can be fierce on the Wall, settled down and let us meander for the entire day.

In any event, this was my chance to say goodbye to my old friend, the one who doesn't talk back. I know many people have a sentimental attachment to the Great Wall of China. It's not hard to see why: It's one of the most beautiful sites I've ever seen and unlike anything else on this planet.

And one of the nice things about hiking in November is that as the sun settles behind the hills, the light hits the Wall in a slant that feels like illumination from the heavens, As we finished up the hike at Jinshanling, a round moon rose above the Wall in the distance. A creation of man and a creation of the heavens worked together to make the kind of vision that poets love and that makes you realize that this has been a pretty good gig after all.

For those of you who don't love looking at people's travel photos, spoiler alert. I have a few here.
I can't take credit for this shot. Or for the Wall for that matter.
Pensive, with hat.
Yet another selfie photo bomb. Or, as we call it on the Wall, wallfies.
This is what I mean about the angle of the sun.
Haze in the distance: more romantic.
The moon rises.
Look carefully here. It goes on and on.
I've taken so many of these shots, but I can't resist.
Notice some support here for crumbling walls.
The Wall makes me look so....small.

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