it's no Santa Barbara
The Great Wall
9 Sunday June: After the wedding, we drove out of the city to the Ba Da Ling section of the Great Wall. You've seen the pictures, you've watched the movie -- yes, it's as huge as you think it is. Molly told us an old Chinese saying: You're not a man if you don't go to the Great Wall. Mike and I immediately searching for a t-shirt with this inscription to bring back for our brother Dave.
The Wall itself was built by conscript labor starting in 221 BC and evolving slowly over the next 1000 years. I'm sure that the phrase about going to the wall was somehow an ancient form of propaganda to get more workers to finish it.We hiked along with 10,000 other tourists and again encountered that weird phenomenon of women in fancy dress at a major monument. It can't possibly be comfortable to climb a 35% grade in high heels. At the summit we encountered the cable car. We'd already experienced The People's Elevators, The People's Renovation Skills and The People's Traffic Patterns so you can imagine how warily we regarded this particular contraption. However, it turns out that the Swiss built the tram so we crammed in and rode down. We should've saved our terror for Monday: we flew China Air inland to the ancient capital city of Xi'an.