Chinese history states that if you climb and walk the Great Wall, you must be a hero. Today we are heroes since we walked along one section of the Wall. Stretching over thousands of kilometres, the wall was built progressively by different dynasties to protect the land from invaders.
The initial walls were built from rammed earth being piled up to form a wide barrier around a kingdom in China. As leaders became more concerned about invaders from Mongolia, granite stones were added and the wall extended. Finally bricks were added and the sections of the wall joined in strategic areas . There is a main wall and then a secondary wall should invaders breach the first section, Even reading about it, you are not prepared for how awe inspiring the Wall is. This is not because of its length and height, but it was built thousands of years ago from local materials and sticky rice.The sheer effort needed to move materials and the number of people needed to do this, is mind boggling.
Some sections are steep with deep stairs which must have been difficult to negotiate in snow or rain. Boys were sent to the army when they were 18 years old and they were posted to distant outposts
From the Wall we left for the Imperial Gardens. This was the area the Emperor spent the summer months. The last Emperors’ mother, the Dragon lady, renovated the gardens for her own use. She had a huge lake dug and a marble dragon boat built to sit in it for banquets.
Today Dragon boats take tourists out around the man made island , past the Buddhist style temple to the other side of the gardens.
The gardens contain manmade elements of water as a lake or pool, a mountain in the form of a huge rock or built hill, plants to reflect the seasons and objects to create beauty for the visitor to rejuvenate their spirits.
Modern apartments appear like towers reaching for the sky in what was once farm lands. Like all cities , housing affordability is forcing people to move further out from city centres. This is very different to the original China culture.
Yes you are seeing correctly, scorpions. They were very crispy and somewhat chewy with a nutty flavour. Quite a delicacy at the famous Peking duck restaurant. This restaurant frequently has a queue and you have to book months in advance to eat here. The rest of the menu was conservative in comparison to this dish.
Beijing by night.