Week of March 30, 2003

Great Wall at Badaling

I wasn't too impressed with the Great Wall until we got there. I was always awed by the pyramids in Egypt, but the Great Wall is just as impressive. I guess it is one of those things you don't appreciate until you are there looking at it. It is truly a magnificent sight.
Beacon Tower on Great Wall

The Great Wall is also called the "10,000 Li Wall" in China. Li gets its name from an ancient Chinese measurement of distance. The number 10,000 just expresses the magnitude of the length of the Wall, not the actual distance.
Entrance to Beacon Tower

The Wall took a long time to construct--over 2000 years. It extends over 3,700 miles. At times, over a million soldiers were garrisoned on it. There are over
10,000 beacon towers, and the Wall goes over 1,000 passes. It was started in 500BC and was pretty much finished in the 14th century.
  Nancy on Beacon Tower

Now to show you how much we are into the Chinese literature, here's a Chinese Nursery Rhyme:
The Emperor of Qin Shihuangdi
Built a wall
From the Hills to the sea
He built it wide
He built it stout
To keep his subjects in
And the Tartars out
The Emperor of Qin.