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

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge / B4 Retouch: An Unusual POV (size of man) | What's (in) the picture?

  2. The photographs are amazing (I don’t know if your perspective is new or not; I just know the photos are wonderful!). That story of the couple on their wedding day is heartwrenching. I had no idea that so many had died (of course, now that I think on it, it’s not surprising)

  3. OMG….don’t think I have ever been speechless in responding to one of your blogs…I AM SPEECHLESS…..WOW….THANK YOU for taking me…..can’t wait for more!!! ENJOY every moment!!

  4. Really amazing shots. It’s right at the top of my list too, what an incredible human achievement and the history is just awe-inspiring. Having seen your photos I am itching to visit even more! Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Ben. It’s a photographer’s dream in addition to being a fantastic experience. Appreciate your comment.

      Sent from my iPad

    • Thanks Kathy! Not easy is right! 4 hours of climbing deep, unsteady stones and steps that all seemed to go uphill LOL! But worth every one 🙂

      Sent from my iPad

  5. Somehow I’ve lost track of your beautiful blog, and now that I’ve found you I discover you’re in China. Safe and happy travels, Tina. Enjoy, and thank you for taking us along with you on this magnificent adventure!!


  6. POV could also be Photographer On Voyage. More specifically unusual POV is a photographer who goes on long voyages to take pictures of walls. Excellent shots. Have you heard about Harian? He was good at walls as well. 🙂

  7. Congratulations, Tina. This is an outstanding post. First of all, allow me to express; envy, envy,envy… wow, I’m deadly envious. I’d love to be in your shoes right.now!! 🙂 I’d love to be able to take such eyecatching photos at this points and I make a bow; you’re the best to combine words and images in an eloquent, entertaining and educating way. Please let me now if you need someone to carry all your gear on the next trip, I’m available! 🙂
    Enjoy China, every minute of the trip. Don’t forget; time doesn’t knock twice on your door.
    Big hug ♥

    • Hi Dina, thanks for your lovely comment! High praise from a traveller and blogger extraordinaire! You have no idea how much I’d have loved to have a Sherpa with me that day LOL. Climbing for hours with 2 cameras, a tripod, a jacket and some small snacks was crazy!! By worth every second. You MUST do it some day!

      Sent from my iPad

    • You’re absolutely right Julie! We were very lucky in Beijing. Not a speck of air pollution during our visit and cool and beautiful on the wall. Loved every second of it!

      Sent from my iPad

    • Many thanks! There’s no way to capture its extent really but I did what I could. Told my husband I’d love to see it from a helicopter or small plane. Bet someday soon they start to offer that experience!

      Sent from my iPad

  8. Magnificent photos Tina ! What memories you will have … love your description of ‘The wall looked almost like a necklace crowning the tips of the mountains surrounding us.’ Enjoy it all 🙂

    • Thanks PT–it’s incredible here. So much to see and shoot. Have to keep reminding myself to just look and absorb as much as possible!

      Sent from my iPad

  9. As you posted your captures, I imagine that you relived the wonder of such an experience. “A Sliver of the Wall” pulls me into the scene. Even though I know the answers, I want to see more and understand the mystery behind the structure. Where is it going? Where is it retreating to? It’s an extraordinary human feat.

  10. What I have come to expect from you Tina – unbelievable photographs and a real sense of the history behind them (not to mention the quotes of course, so I won’t – mention them that is 😉 ) A great POV and I look forward to more of your perspective from China.
    Jude xx

  11. Wow, T! These are awesome. I would love to be a fly on your lens for the rest of this trip. Your depth perception on the photos is incredible! SQ

  12. WOW-terrific perspective! Also a wonderful pictorial respite for me from my arduous packing duties!!! Thinking of you both on your fab trip…Alma Sent from my iPhone

  13. Always from you, Tina…great perspectives, and you did not disappoint. Most unique views of the Great Wall. You took me back to cherished memories when I was awed by this amazing icon of China. Can’t wait to see more images captured through your talented lens.

  14. These are absolutely amazing. I have never before seen pictures of the Wall that show as much distance over mountains. I have a new understanding of this masterpiece. Thanks.

    • Thanks Anne. Yes, I told my husband that some enterprising person is going to start a small plane/helicopter tour service to fly over the wall. I’d love to see it from above. It just goes on and on and on….so difficult to capture it’s length!

  15. Two places on my bucket list too: Egypt and and the Great Wall… who knows…. but in the meantime I really enjoyed your take on the latter.

  16. I have been anxiously awaiting your journal and hoping tne service would allow me to tag along…… I am fascinated by these photos… Keep them coming!

  17. Spectacular, Tina! Glad you were able to share.
    By the way, where did you find these quotes? I’ve been scouring the web trying to find point of view quotes. Yours are the best I’ve seen!

    • Thanks SS! I just searched on quotes+”point of view” and hundreds came up. I liked these best of the ones I saw. As the master of the written word I genuinely appreciate your compliment!

      • Oh Tina, your compliments always humble me. Words swirl in my mind all the live-long-day. If I wrote all of them down I would get nothing else done. My dream is two extremes. To hunker down in a cabin in front of a crackling stone fireplace with snowy mountain vistas surrounding, or perch on a balcony in front of the ocean {which I just did :-)} and just write, write, write. Oh, when will God provide me a personal assistant, cook, and housekeeper to manage everything else in my life!
        Thanks again for your compliments. Enjoy your time in China!

      • With you 100% on the need for staff Alexandria! Perhaps we were meant to be empresses 🙂

        Sent from my iPad

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