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The most popular Great Wall site is Badaling, but we went a little farther to Mutianyu. It is in better shape, with fewer tourist traps, plus there is a chair lift to get up and a steel toboggan track to get down.
The wall is only the manmade part of the defense. The mountains are rugged and forbidding. An invading army would be pretty tired by the time it got to the Wall. The wall wends along the ridgetop, often at such a steep angle that it is more like walking up stairs than strolling down a stone path. Dennis discusses historical facts with Steven, our driver. It turns out that he, too, is an electrical engineer. And he's unemployed, too. We had a great time with him and he was very helpful to us. Spoke great English, but didn't have great depth in history. Luckily, the Wall is well documented on-site. Here's my "beauty shot". Yes, I was really there. If my parole officer asks, I did go to China, but I never left the state. And nobody got a stupid T-shirt. Oh no, a Mongol warrior. What shall we do? Well, cut his head off, of course. I imagine that these guys do a pretty good business during the summer, but the winter must be tough. Freezing and not making much yuan. Ihear that the summers are hot & humid, but more renumerative. Steven got this warrior to pose for half price. China could be cheaper than Japan, but it's not really working out that way. Continue Great Wall Tour