One of the items on my bucket list has always been to walk down the path along the Great Wall of China. I don’t know where the desire came from, since I’ve also always wondered if it was built to protect the country from intruders or to keep the people from escaping. Its majesty, its insane height, its steep stairs and even steeper trails left me breathless.
After a few days of walking through crowded streets and the omnipresent smog, I needed a little rest from the over-stimulation, so I visited Beihai park – beautiful and huge, its lake with water lilies reminded me of how nature, trees and water are so important in a city so big. And as always, I noticed the details on the simple stair rail.
I’m no fan of imperial monuments, blame it on my conscience, so I passed quickly through the many (and similar) buildings to find peace and a little quiet in the park right behind them. It was impossible to approach the gorgeous old trees, but interestingly shaped rocks were in abundance.
I’m a writer, so I read a lot. One of the spots I had to visit was Lao Tse’s home, and to my surprise, I found it in a tiny alleyway between decrepit hutongs. His was perfectly kept, though, since it’s been renovated into a museum.
What I sought next was architecture, details, what makes Beijing different from other Chinese cities. I think I found it, and will show you in my conclusion, next week.
November 21st, 2011 at 11:28 am
Had a reply typed up and lost my internet connection. >:-( Anyway, people who live in cities seem to develop an ability to shut out everyone and everything. I can imagine it’s the only way to survive being surrounded by hordes of people at all time.
I would love to see the Great Wall, especially the less-preserved sections. Something about ruins always enchants me.
November 21st, 2011 at 11:37 am
The Great Wall is a must see, DD – it’s so grand and long, so impossible…
November 21st, 2011 at 3:05 pm
The Great Wall is fascinating to me. It’s a trip I WILL make one day. Thanks for sharing your reflections, Anne. I enjoy them.
November 21st, 2011 at 3:10 pm
Oh yes, do go to the other end of the world:)
November 21st, 2011 at 4:18 pm
Oh the Great Wall! How wonderful!
I love the detail you found in BeiHai park, you certainly have an eye for them.
As usual, such a lovely set of vignettes. Really am enjoying this insight into your trip and, of course, getting more and more jealous 🙂
November 21st, 2011 at 4:19 pm
You’ll be happy, next Monday is all about the details I’ve found a bit anywhere!
November 22nd, 2011 at 9:50 pm
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your memories! What a fantastic experience!!
November 23rd, 2011 at 8:47 am
It was…very inspiring!
November 23rd, 2011 at 4:30 pm
Wow, what a magical trip abroad. I suspect there will be a whole host of inspirational pieces that will come from this. Great stuff Anne.
November 23rd, 2011 at 5:39 pm
Oh yes, and they’re coming fast;)
November 25th, 2011 at 5:57 am
After struggling a little with the overpowering nature of China’s urban areas, it’s nice to read there were places you could fall in love with. 🙂
From reading your descriptions, it really seems as though the cultural disparity is reflected in the country’s landmarks- a rich ancient culture of which to be proud, overlaid with landmarks which celebrate a political regime, rather than the people it purports to represent…