Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Great Wall

Great Wall, originally uploaded by Carpe Feline.

I have always wanted to walk the length of the great wall of China. But after reading this article I am not sure it is possible.

Without academic affiliation or funding, Spindler has spent 14 years traveling across China and to Japan to review arcane centuries-old texts for firsthand accounts and details. And he has spent more than 830 days clambering over the wall's far-flung ramparts around Beijing, enough to wear through several pairs of hiking boots.[...]

"I've spent 5 percent of my life there," he says of the wall.

It is not what I thought.

He has learned, for example, that the Great Wall is not one continuous structure but a series of fortifications, built with various materials, including packed earth, bricks and mortar, field stones and quarried rock. In some places, it isn't a wall at all, but a string of unconnected signal towers. No one has determined exactly how long it runs, but estimates vary from thousands to tens of thousands of miles.

It will be hard to walk along the wall if it is not there!

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