After a short drive we began our assent of a portion of the great wall. This section took almost 300 years of excruciating manual labor to build. I’ll admit having heard about the wall and thinking, “So?” I mean it’s a wall. How hard is that? Well, it’s quite something else to see. The steps are massive and the incline is ridiculous. To think that each huge stone was carried on someone’s back is unimaginable.
The trip through the Forbidden city had already worn me out, but I was determined to ascend at least part of the way. I began strong, but it wasn’t long before my out of shape body began breathing fairly hard and I could feel my heart in my chest. I stopped several times along the way, but I continued up the steps to the first tower. At the top of the first tower I could see better how high the rest of the towers were. It was pretty daunting, but I had something to prove. I knew I’d have been all over this wall as a kid and I wanted to see if I could still do it.
Along the way to the next tower a Chinese man came up along side me. He read my name badge and made a faux opera singing sound to indicate he knew I was a singer. He attempted to speak Chinese to me, but of course my Chinese is ridiculously limited. The only English he could come up with was “Good heart” and “Keep go” we continued to challenge each other up the steps to the next tower and we made it. It made me feel better that he was having a hard time with it as well.
All told, I made it to Tower 9 (3rd from the bottom) and then Meghan Toon and Selina Stewart joined me for there for the decent. The way down was a new kind of pain, but we made it without injury.
This was certainly a whirlwind trip to Beijing, but Eric did a great job of showing us as much as possible in our short time in the city.