I have written about the Great Wall before, but mostly in general. Today I am writing about one particular section of the wall – Badaling. My parents visited in 1983, I first visited in 1999, and most recently in 2012. Comparing the photos is fun!
I love the reminder that this world can be small. It’s a good thing to think on as I prepare to leave the place where I met many of the closest friends I’ve ever had. Not bad thoughts to dwell on during my last visit to the Great Wall of China.
Yumen Scenic Area is in the desert about 90km (55mi) northwest of Dunhuang and was my favourite spot in the area. The remnants of wall still visible are over 2,000 years old; I was astounded by how much remains after centuries of erosion.
There’s been a lot of great stuff happening in youth ministry over the past few weeks. It’s hard to explain how much preparation went into all these events, how much joy I find in them, and in each of the students who were part of them.
Part 2 of my Great Wall Adventures spans 2006-2013 and includes Mutianyu, Badaling, Laolongtou, Zhengbeilou, Huanghuacheng, and even Yumen Pass in Gansu province. But my favourite is probably Mutianyu covered with snow!
The Great Wall is not a single entity but a collection of segments built over 2,500 years. They range across more than 2,500km east-west and 2,000km north-south. Only small portions have been reconstructed; most of the Great Wall is in ruins.
My family came to Beijing to celebrate my 30th birthday with me – my parents, my sisters, my brother in law and his brother. They arrived in four different lots, and so they didn’t all do the same things in Beijing, but it was still a really great time!