Weekly Photo Challenge – Unusual POV – China’s Great Wall

“There is nothing insignificant in the world. It all depends on the point of view.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



For as long as I can remember I have wanted to experience four things; Australia’s Great Barrier Reef – an incredible spectacle which I visited in 2001, the Great Pyramids of Egypt, (still on my bucket list but a bit dangerous at the moment), an African safari (a dream-come-true several years ago) and The Great Wall of China.  This week I was able to realize that final dream, which exceeded even my own very high expectations.



A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding.”

Marshall McLuhan

Few things have been more widely photographed than the iconic Great Wall, so finding a unique perspective is quite challenging, but honestly it’s the ONLY place to start when talking about touring China.  More unique perhaps are some of the stories we heard during our visit to the wall’s beautiful Jinshanling section.



” From a certain point of view, our real enemy, the true troublemaker, is inside..”

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

Our guide told us the legend of Meng Jiang Nu,  whose husband – like all men between the ages of 16 and 60 – was enlisted to help build the wall.  Sadly, he was called on their wedding day so she gave him a half of her jade hairpin to remind him of her.  When he hadn’t returned after a year away, she went out looking for him.  She found him among the many dead and was able to identify him by the jade piece he carried with him still.



“Style is the perfection of a point of view.”

Richard Eberhart

Because so many died during the building of the wall (some say as many as 1,000,000), it is also called the longest cemetery in the world.  It stretches 5,500 miles and is one of two things that can be seen when orbiting the earth (the other being the Great Barrier Reef).



Nobody outside of a baby carriage or a judge’s chambers believes in an unprejudiced point of view.”

Lillian Hellman

We were very fortunate in several respects the day of our visit to the wall.  First, there were very few tourists, perhaps because this is the furthest wall access from Beijing, a solid 2-hour’s drive.  Second, we had incredible weather.  We arrive in misty, foggy conditions which made for a truly ethereal experience, but as the day wore on the mists cleared and we had an incredibly clear, blue sky such that we could see for miles and miles.  The wall looked almost like a necklace crowning the tips of the mountains surrounding us.We have seen many amazing things here in China, which is truly a magical place, and we are only a week into our journey.  The internet service, while not what I’m used to, is better than I expected so I look forward to sharing more as the weeks go by. 




170 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge – Unusual POV – China’s Great Wall

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  2. I hope you can visit Egypt someday. I was reviewing my photos of the Temple of Luxor recently. They are impressive (the temples, not my photos). The Great Wall is still on my bucket list, along with the great mountain-side staircases of China, whose names escape me at the moment.

    • “the temples, not my photos” LOL. I would truly love to visit Egypt – it’s one of the final elements of my bucket list (as is Petra–have you been there too John?). But I am a bit of a chicken and steer clear of areas of the world that appear to carry some risk. Sadly there are more and more these days.

      • I haven’t been to Petra but that too would be a ‘wonder’ to see. I’d love to see the antiquities in Syria if they aren’t leveled by ISIS or war first, and even Iran has many too. Sadly it’s very very wise to be a bit of a chicken these days. Someday… one can only hope.

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  8. This is a wonderful post, Tina, and I’m so glad you were able to get to the Great Wall, and have the mists and then a clear sky later to boot! And your quotes are fan-tas-tic!!

    • :-). My pleasure Jo (literally and figuratively!). Happy to share, glad you enjoyed. It is everything you think it may be and then some!

      Sent from my iPad

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  10. Great shots, Tina! It must be quite an experience being up there! We’ve read so much about this in the text books but being able to see it in real is amazing indeed:) Hope you have a wonderful time in China. Looking forward to see more pictures:)

  11. How wonderful that you are fulfilling your dream of seeing the Great Wall of China! The “Wall to Wall” photo is my favorite…it has great composition, color, and lighting. I think you managed to show a unique POV with that one. It transports the viewer into the scene and leads the eye to a certain direction…fantastic shot!

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