The Great Wall at Jinshanling

The Yale-PKU program organized an excursion to the Great Wall today. We visited the wall at Jinshanling, some 130 kilometers of easy road from Beijing.

Like at Mutianyu, there was a cable car up to the top of the ridge where the wall is. This time the cars were small and they wobbled disconcertingly in the wind. I sat very still.

I thought the wall was particularly gorgeous in Jinshanling. The first picture is from a window in one of the watch towers.

I was happy to see that one did not have to walk far from the cable car to get to sections of the wall that have not been renovated. China seems to renovate its historical relics with a heavy hand (rather like Viollet-le-Duc, as I have said before), so it is very good to be able to see what the wall looks like without such interventions.

One has to be careful climbing unrenovated stairs.

At the watch tower where I, alas, had to turn back to rendez-vous with the rest of the Yale group (for this was an official PKU-Yale program excursion) I met four very nice Europeans: a Dutch couple and two women from Norway (one of which has even studied medieval history at Oslo university!). We chatted for a while, which was so pleasant that I (for once) was the last person back to the bus (but only one minute after the other dalliers). I gave them the address to the blog, so I hope they read this and comment. If you like larger files of the photos, I am happy to send them! And I would like to have the photos you took of the group! I also hope they come to visit Peking University (subway line 4: East Gate of Peking University).

This is the local woman who took the photo above. As is apparently the tradition at Jinshanling, she attached herself to me as soon as I got off the cable car, and then she followed me everywhere I went. The idea was of course to sell me souvenirs at the end. It worked. At first I was somewhat irritated to have a local tail, who now and then would make a comment in any of the two dozen English phrases she had picked up. I even tried to outrun her in some of the steep parts of the wall, but she kept up admirably. On the way back, I thought that I can just as well take it as a language tutoring lesson, so I started to use my poor little Chinese on her. I found out that she lives in Hebei province, has been a farmer growing corn (but I am not sure what she means by that). She claimed to be 65 years old, considers herself Mongolian, and has 4 children. Two of whom are farmers and two study, but I did not know the word for what they are studying. She told me her name, but I am afraid I have forgotten it In the end, I got a somewhat expensive Chinese lesson, although my teacher threw in two T-shirts to sweeten the deal.'

Postat av: Anonym

Helt underbara bilder! Särskilt jid! :-)

2010-10-15 @ 19:00:28

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