THE GREAT WALL

May 13th, 2016

The Great Wall of China was one of the places I’ve always wanted to visit since my childhood. I’d heard several fascinating stories about this place – and I was more than excited to see this incredibly massive man-made monument. I’d heard that this is the only man-made monument visible from space or the moon. One of the wonders of the world, the magnificence of this place just blew my mind.

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We left early in the morning and reached the place by 8ish in the morning. This turned out to be the best time to be there – with no tourists, no commercial stuff, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of seeing a real, chaos-free, clutter-free, magnificent beauty, surrounded by sprawling shades of green – the mesmerizing view of nature was absolutely breathtaking!

The grandeur of this place signified the efforts, planning,  architecture and logistics involved, centuries ago – a time that lacked technology and convenience of today’s world. I could not begin to imagine the number of people it took to build this, the amount of materials and equipment, its transportation, the facilities for workers during construction, food, shelter, and what not.

I’d read a review that talked about a cost-benefit analysis of this massive construction. It mentioned that the costs did not outweigh the benefits in this case primarily for two reasons – a) about 300,000 men from the army were ordered to build the wall, and most of them died in terrible conditions while building it. b) Despite the wall, the Chinese had to bribe Mongolians to not attack or enter. I’m not sure how valid this info is, but it made me ponder more about the extensive construction and triggered an interesting discussion with a fellow Fordie as I walked along the wall.

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Not only the splendor of the Great Wall attracts visitors from around the world, but it also reflects the cultural and historical importance of China.

I couldn’t think of a better way to mark an end to our amazing China trip!

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Sripriya Mohan

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