101 Things To Do*

* before I die

History and Culture

Walk the Great Wall of China

And on a clear day, you can see the Great Wall of China...

...from space.

And it's true – the Great Wall is the only man-made structure visible from space.  Of course, when they were building it, I'm sure they didn't have that feature in mind.

I visited the Wall in mid-February 2002 and enjoyed a beautifully clear day myself.  I went with my girlfriend, and part-time guide and interpreter, Jackie.  For our visit, we opted not to go to the restored sections – which have cable cars to take you up to the highest point so you don't have to exert yourself.  Instead, we chose a section that is in its original state – yet still in relatively good condition.

This meant that we had a considerable climb to get to one of the many towers built at intervals along the Wall.  Fortunately the weather was cool enough to make the climb bearable.  The downside was that I had been inactive for a while and was not prepared for that much exercise.  But I persevered and finally made it to the first tower.

From my vantage point at the top of the tower, seeing the wall snake over the surrounding mountains and disappear into the distance was such an impressive sight – words cannot convey the feeling.