There is a Chinese saying that you do not qualify as a true man if you have not been to the Great Wall of China.
Apart from being excited about my friend’s wedding, I was pretty psyched up about climbing the Great Wall. The only man-made structure that can be seen from the moon, it tells of so many tales of China’s war-afflicted past where the walls kept the commoners from being attacked by neighbouring armies.
Within the Commune, which is a collection of villas designed by various architects, there is a pathway leading to a part of the Great Wall, which has not gone through much care and restoration. I was initially a little worried about the feasibility of the climb but Mr Lillots, being Mr Lillots got really excited hearing that it was a crumbling old structure. He’s much more of an explorer than I am!
We started the climb and after Kyoto’s hiking training, it wasn’t too difficult. Very soon after 20 minutes, we reached the top! We were not too sure if we could make it to the fire-lighting tower at the other end but that was when we saw a couple who was making their way over from that end. That boosted our confidence as we tackled the challenge.
This part wasn’t too easy and we finally reached the fire lighting tower. Ever watched Lord of the Rings? Being there would make anyone feel like shouting “Riders of Rohan, here we Come!”
We took some time to take in the views and history. Feeling good about our adventure, we told our friends about it and encouraged them to try the climb too. The next morning, we were inspired to go up again. That was when we came across families with young kids as young as 5 tackling the same climb. We even heard of a guy who managed to make his way up there with the hotel slippers. As they say, in China, everyone has a talent. It is true!