The Great Wall Revisited

Breaking News!

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Tourist Blown Off Great Wall? No!  (It was really windy that day!)

China has no idea how long the Great Wall is.

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Pretty long, I’d say!! Look at how it stretches away towards the horizon!

Speculation says between 5,000 and 7,000 kilometers, but the Chinese government wants a definitive answer before the Beijing Olympics.

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A little olympics marketing at the rebuilt Wall site close to Beijing.

At almost 2500 years old, you think someone would have measured the thing by now.

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The rebuilt wall site packed with tourists – actually a light tourist day!

And here’s another shocker from the UK’s Times Online:

“This week the China approved for the first time laws to protect the Great Wall. It has banned the carving of names, digging out of bricks or building of unauthorised structures. However, a survey in June found that 20 per cent of the wall’s 6,300 kilometres was in reasonable shape, 30 per cent was in ruins and the rest had disappeared.”

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Sign posted on Great Wall. Nobody cares about anything anymore.

That is sad. They just passed laws regarding the protection of the wall NOW? In 2006? Let’s hope that 20 – 30% can be maintained. The article discusses a runner, William Lindesay, who was the first foreigner to run the entire length of the Wall. He has been working on a photographic exhibit of the Wall over it’s photographable history – documenting the changes the Wall has taken, natural and man-made. His photographs will be on exhibit at Beijing Capital Museum in January, and will be titled Great Wall Revisited. I wish I could see it. If you are in Beijing, check it out!

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Part of the Wall in ruins.

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And part of the Wall rebuilt.

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Practically deserted! Actually, the package tourists usually climb the wall in the other direction, so we were blissfully free to explore.

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The reason the package tourists go the other way – this way is steep!

Here is one of my gratuitous “I was there” shots:

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Contrast these photos, taken in June 2006 at the rebuilt, rehabilitated Great Wall site located near Beijing to these photos, taken in March 2006 at a ruined portion of the Great Wall.

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