The Great Wall

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We recently explored the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, which is in the Huairou District about 70 kilometers NE of Beijing City Center. It felt so good to be out of the city and surround ourselves with mountains and fresh air.
At the entrance, several vendors sold dried fruits and nuts, as well as clothing, hats and scarves for souvenirs. When you’ve traveled as much as we have, the souvenir stands don’t capture our attention like they did years ago.

What did get our attention though, was Burger King!!! Who knew that clear out here in the middle of nowhere, we could buy a burger and fires and enjoy tastes that don’t include fish sauce, and soy sauce!?

We hiked up to a platform where cable cars took us up the mountain to the wall.

A dry river bed lay below us and dormant trees covered the mountainside. Even though the sun was shining, it was so freezing cold.

The site on top was impressive!

The Mutianyu Wall was built in 1368 by Xu Da, who was a general in the Northern Qi Dynasty.

This section was the military hub, defending the capital and the imperial tombs, and has several famous watch towers – all well preserved.

Built mostly of granite, the wall is about 8 meters (24 ft) high and about 5 meters (15ft) wide.

The 22 watch towers along this section still stand tall and solid, and some are larger than others with multiple sections inside.

Mutianyu is surrounded by woodland which covers 90% of the land, and the closest village (Mutianyu Village) is known for its glassware.

Once we were thoroughly frozen we worked our way back to the cable cars, descended and enjoyed our meal at Burger King, then returned to Beijing with fresh air in our lungs and bellies full of good old American fast food.

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