Great Wall and Ming Tombs

From high atop this lookout tower, we surveyed the difficult climb ahead of us. The Great Wall takes your breath away, both literally and figuratively!

The stairs at this particular stretch of The Wall go straight up the mountainside! Why don't they ever show you this photo in the tourist brochures?

Jim & Elaine, an American couple staying at our hotel, made the Climb with us. The men, both over 6 feet tall, made it a lot farther than the women did, but then one of them commented that some of the steps were actually higher than the girls knees!

Ahhh!! The view from the top, of this ridge anyway. The Great Wall snakes through the mountainous countryside farther than the eye can see. This is a restored section.

This view shows how steep the stairs really are! Just past the mildly level stretch in the foreground is another staircase that is even steeped. It reminded me of a water slide with a 90% drop. You're next in line to go, but you still can't see the slide, or in this case steps, beneath you. Another thing that reminded me of a water slide was the silly little, "Cable Car" that appears coiled, just to the left of The Wall. While sitting on an aluminum sledge, you are pulled up the hill. Later, you get a roller coaster ride back down.
This is the entrance to one of a dozen or more tombs of the Ming Dynasty Emperors When this tomb was opened in 1950's many of the antiquities disintegrated from exposure to the air. Consequently all the other tombs remain sealed. Once inside, the excavators found the Sarcophagus was never placed in the center burial chamber, reserved for the Emperor. The elaborate coffin had been made too large to fit through the doors, so the burial party sealed it in an antechamber. Who was to know?
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