Yeah, I know the moniker of that Wall they have close to Beijing, but I didn’t think one small section would take hours and hours to climb. I also knew the Forbidden home of the emperor was a palace, but I didn’t really understand why they called it a City, until hours of trekking got us passed multiple squares and castle walls the scope of which simply cannot be described or photographed well. In comparison, the Summer Palace, with it’s more modest name, was even more grandiose, with temples, pavilions, and a gigantic lake.
Honestly, beautiful views aside, I just ended up getting numb to the gargantuan temples, parks, and palaces we went to – The Jade Temple, The Summer Palace, The Temple of Heaven….great names for big places, added upon by new structures -Tianaman Square, The Water Cube, and The Bird’s Nest.
But what I remember are the little things. Panting up the watchtowers on the Great Wall, happily seeing other foreigners and natives equally as worn out as my own nonathletic self. The call of locals trying to make a buck selling water at a price gouging rate in the Forbidden City. And looking at the faces of Chinese tourists and realizing that these places are just as awe inspiring to them as they are to me, a testament to how big this country is and how interconnected we humans can be, no matter our background, while traveling.