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What could possibly go wrong when you are going to see one of the New Seven Wonders of the World? Well, how about rain! Yes, rain causes a few discomforts when you are visiting the Great Wall of China, like getting wet, walking on slippery stones, and not being able to use the toboggan slide coming down the mountain.

But there is good news! The crowds are smaller, it is cooler, and it gives a completely different perspective of the Great Wall. Would you like to see what I mean?

Taking the Good with the Bad

I have been to the Great Wall of China on perfectly clear days, and you can see all of the surrounding mountains and valleys below. To some, it may seem a little disappointing to go to the Great Wall when it is raining, but I appreciate the change the rain brings and the unique views it offers. I have read that the Mu Tian Yu section of the Great Wall is about 3425.2 feet above sea level, so you can understand that you are literally in the clouds.

Taking the Good with the Bad

Since the Great Wall of China is over 13,000 miles long, you can’t see all of it anyway, so I enjoy the eerie yet calm view on days when it rains. It is hard to believe that the section in the photograph above is over 2,000 years old!

Taking the Good with the Bad

When I am at the Great Wall, the view off in the distance reminds me of the beginning to the old television show MASH. If you can recall the scene as the helicopter flies in and you can see the rugged mountains in the background — well, to me, the two scenes are the same.

There are so many things you can’t control when you are traveling, so I encourage you to find the good side of what may alter your plans. Who knows, you may like the change better than your original plans!

I hope to see you on the Great Wall one day… rain or shine!

The city where I taught at a university in China is full of old charm and culture. Although the population is nearing two million people, it still has some unique and treasured relics and culture. I know this very well about one of my favorite cities in the world — but would you like to see one of the recent surprises it showed me?

The Workhorse of the Skies

I can’t imagine how old this plane is! Can you see the two sets of wings? Maybe that helps date it. The diameter of the engine of this plane is huge, so I believe it must have a lot of power. I apologize for the quality of this photograph, but it was raining and I had to take the picture through tinted glass.

This area is an agricultural area, so the farmers need rain. I know that China practices cloud-seeding to produce rain, so perhaps this old workhorse of a plane is used for that. It looks like the cloud-seeding had worked very well this day!

For those of us that enjoy aviation, this was a very cool plane to see. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to travel who can, because you never know what interesting things you may see or do!

What’s the most interesting place you’ve traveled to recently?

 

 

There are sights to see almost everywhere we look, even at an airport in a country where you have visited many times. If you have followed my blog posts, you will know that I not only encourage people to travel, but to have a camera ready when they do travel.

So, there I was standing in the security line at the airport when I noticed the most unique backpack I think I have ever seen being carried by an adult! It truly caught me by surprise, and since I am a dog lover, I liked it very much! Check it out below!

unexpected-sights-backpack

Another image that caught my eye not long after getting through the security line at the Beijing Capital Airport was for marketing. I think most of us know who Michael Phelps is, and apparently so do the people in China. After the scandal that rocked the Olympic Swimming Team, it is good to see that some are rewarded for not “messing things up!”

unexpected-sights-marketing-sign

Don’t forget, travel when and where you can, and have your camera ready.

I regret not capturing some of the sights I have seen, because I didn’t have a camera with me and ready to use. There have been many other mistakes I have made, so keep reading my blog posts and you can learn from my mistakes!

What’s the most interesting sight you’ve seen — that you missed a chance to get a picture of, because you didn’t have your camera ready?

During my last trip to China, the traffic was horrible as we came back from the area where the Great Wall is. Our driver was doing his best to dodge the busy intersections, so we took some streets I had never seen before. Below you can see one of the surprises I saw on that trip!

Have Your Camera Ready!

Can you imagine my surprise when I saw this military jet mounted outside this cluster of buildings? Thankfully I had my camera out and ready, and I was able to quickly take this photograph as we passed the jet.

Honestly, I have no idea why the jet was displayed in this area. It didn’t seem like we were near any military bases, and I know we weren’t close to the airport, so I was baffled. Additionally, the streets seemed very normal with ordinary street scenes as we passed.

I consider myself fortunate to have gotten this picture, even though it isn’t very clear. It isn’t every day that I get to see an aircraft like this! It would be my encouragement to everyone traveling to keep their cameras ready — because, like me, you never know what you might see!

New and Improved

August 30, 2016 — Leave a comment

Much planning and work has been done to the new entrance of the Great Wall of China at the Mu Tian Yu location. I completely understand how they wanted to “spruce up” the former facility, but I think some of the charm was lost in the transition.

Instead of small booths for all types of vendors with awnings, now there are nice new brick facilities. These are well maintained, so I have to give the cleaning crews credit for a job well done.

New and Improved brick facilities at the Great Wall

Now you can even get a pizza at the Great Wall! I never thought I would see that day! This restaurant has great service, and the interior is all wood, as you can guess from the photograph below.

New and Improved Dining at the Great Wall

One of my favorite treats to get after climbing the Great Wall is dried fruit. My favorite is the dried strawberries, and they are amazingly sweet! The vendors selling the dried fruit will give free samples, and they know that once you have tasted their fruit, you will want more!

The new entrance is further down the hill from the old location, so you have to buy an inexpensive bus ticket to take you a little further up the hill. Sometimes you may have to wait on a bus, but usually not for very long. There is also a new parking deck and ticket office at the new entrance, and the restrooms are very clean. You should definitely use the restroom before going up on the Great Wall, because you have very few options once you are on the wall!

New and Improved Entrance to the Great Wall

 

 

 

Recently, I read an article about a horrible accident that occurred at the Mu Tain Yu section of the Great Wall of China. According to the report, a 37-year-old Canadian lady was trying to catch up with a friend when she tried to go between an elderly Chinese man and his wife. Unfortunately, the younger woman bumped into the older lady causing her to fall. Tragically, the injuries suffered by the elderly Chinese lady caused her to lose her life. I am sincerely saddened by this.

If you have an opportunity to visit the Great Wall of China, I whole heartedly want to encourage you to take advantage of the chance to see an amazing and historic structure. I also want to caution you to be careful! As you can see from the pictures below, you could potentially fall a long way!

039a_Tragedy

Another potential dangerous area of the Great Wall are the uneven surfaces. Also, some of the steps are different heights and widths. You will notice some of these challenges in the next picture.

039b_Tragedy

If you visit the Great Wall in the rain, I want to suggest being extremely careful at all times. Good walking shoes are a must!