The Great Wall of China

Students checked off another world wonder on Tuesday with our visit to the Great Wall of China!

Rising early, we hopped on a bus and travelled 80km outside the center of Beijing to see the most-visited attraction of the Great Wall. This site is so incredibly significant that a subway line was built to access the impressive monument! Along the way, our guide filled us in on many important facts about the history of the wall and its construction through the centuries.

Did you know that the wall stretches over 8,000km due to the mountainous regions and rises in elevation? That is roughly the length of Canada from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean!

We arrived at Badaling and were then given one hour of free time to take pictures and hike to some of the highest points. With incredible views of the changing seasons, we were embraced by many locals who also made the trek to this amazing gem of Chinese history. Visitors flooded the wall to grab the best picture and embrace themselves in the greatness of that moment.

A bunch of local schools were also visiting the site with us! Groups of young children would swarm our students to ask for a picture and learn about our students’ impression of the beautiful wonder. Everyone was happy to participate and enjoyed in the sharing of this cultural exchange.

While the first site was impressive, we had no idea what was coming our way! Setting off from Badaling, we jumped back on the bus and made our way over to another site known as Mutianyu. With just enough time to grab a quick lunch in the small town directly below the mountain pass, we journeyed up to the next section of the wall that had next to no visitors. Some of us decided to take the chairlift or the cable car up, but some of us decided to make the scenic trek by foot.

Cidel had this to share about her experience at the top of Mutianyu:

“We enjoyed the amazing views of the mountains that surround the Great Wall and the beautiful colours of nature, all thanks to the fall. We also saw some cannons that were stationed between the watchtowers as a means of fortification.

The wall is made of stone, bricks, wood, tamped earth, and other materials. For centuries, the Great Wall of China has held great cultural significance due to the strength and effort that it represents to the Chinese peoples because their ancestors worked so hard to build it.

After walking for two hours, we finally arrived at the toboggan station that would take us to the bottom. We were in the toboggan for about five minutes until we reached the end and saw a really cute puppy dressed in a red suit! We arrived back at the hotel exhausted but were really happy to witness one of the most beautiful and intriguing accomplishments made by human beings. After all, we just walked one of the seven wonders of the world!”

Yours from the watchtowers,