|Calum Tsang's Journal
Postcards from at Home and Abroad
Siobhan and I walked along the wall top, its crooked tiles undulating up and down, sometimes converting to steps as we reached an angle too high for level stone. The towers themselves are built of stone, each with a panoramic view from its roof top. The valleys on either side were shrouded in fog, covered in a lush carpet of trees now turning warm shades in autumn. Mountain ranges stretched out towards the horizon, silhouettes layered into the distance. We decided to go as far as we could, to the twenty second tower. It seems to be perched at the very end on top of a very steep mountain, which required an absolutely grueling climb. Just before on another watch tower, a local sells beers and snacks before you finish at the top.
The climb up the mountain on this section of the wall was painful, at least for my untrained self, carrying two full frame camera bodies and four lenses. However, after several pauses, I managed to get to the top. I was enjoying the beautitful vantage from this final tower, when up came a group of Type A corporate personalities, screaming accolades and self affirming team building business cliches. Every few seconds, the serene peace of this stunning vista was pierced by their self congratulatory screams, and repeated chants of the 1998 World Cup song, "Hey Baby!". As we began to return down the hill to avoid them, they formed a human pyramid, took a picture and then planned to go past the warning signs off the uncharted parts of the wall.
In the afternoon, we visited the Summer Palace, built by the Empress Dowager as a vacation retreat. As we walked along the long corridor, we drew a path around the lake, the main temple on the hill basking in the setting afternoon sun.
( Oct 16 2012, 08:56:26 PM EDT )
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