The Many Great Walls of China – Weekly Photo Challenge
“Tear down….tear down the walls. Love flows freely when they fall.”
The first thing I thought of when I saw Cheri’s Wall challenge this week was China’s Great Wall – a fantastic highlight of our most recent adventure. Skip to the end if that’s your only interest in this one, but if you’d like to see some other “small G great” walls of China, please read on 😊
“The more walls you put around you, the more walls are gonna block your view.”
There are all kinds of walls – some impenetrable and some, like those above, little more than fabric. As I watched the women in the photo talking animatedly as they went about their daily chores, I assumed the walls were separating their goods but not their spirits, as they all seemed of one mind with a singular purpose – drawing both local and tourist trade to their wares.
“If these walls could sing they’d sing us a hundred songs.”
Also focused on selling his wares, the image above shows a man sitting in a literal hole in the wall, watching as the world walks by. Here in the states, a “hole in the wall” is a slang term meaning a rather small, dingy place. His place may indeed have been small and somewhat dingy, but that didn’t stop him from enjoying his tobacco along with the beautiful sunny morning.
“These walls have stood for ages, and now time still turns its pages.”
Michael Martin Murphey
Photographers love decay and this wall certainly is that, but it has the added bonus of a doting dad and his darling daughter 😊. I loved the soft colorful element she added to the scene. I also thought the bright shaft of sunlight in the otherwise shadowed wall added still another interesting dimension.
“I can’t hold out forever; even walls fall down.”
Speaking of decay, I couldn’t resist including the photo above, which I’ve used in a previous post. It’s one of my favorite shots from our China adventure and brings to mind a very vivid memory of our journey. It’s a long story, but suffice it to say this scene reminds me that one cannot judge a book by its cover, and that the joy of discovery offsets any trials faced during the journey.
“If you live it off the wall, life ain’t so bad at all.”
In Beijing’s beautiful Summer Palace, former “vacation home” to its emperors, there are walls with windows shaped like teapots overlooking lovely lakeside vistas. Imagine the scene during a summer tropical storm and perhaps we’ve come upon the origination of the phrase “tempest in a teapot”!
Competing with such a unique and creative idea, the wall below with its flowerpot-shaped entry in Shanghai’s Yuyuan Garden offers another interesting opportunity for wall-watchers.
“Do the walls come down when you think of me?”
Lest we start to think that all of China’s walls are crumbling down, I’ve included a capture from modern-day Beijing. Below, we see two wall-washers cleaning the huge dome-like aquatics stadium from the 2008 Olympics. Look closely and you can see vistas of the city reflected in the face of the building. The Olympic Park is a very interesting stop, especially when it follows a visit to the hutongs, China’s oldest neighborhoods – the contrast is astounding.
“How I long to be a shadow on the wall, I would make no sound at all.”
Walls in Beijing, not unlike the big cities in the U.S., provide a perfect opportunity for advertising. The Chinese go beyond simple slogans and create beautiful works of art – such as the one below – to promote their products. I believe the subject of this colorful scene was some kind of milk.
“These walls have eyes, these walls have ears. They see the lies, they hide the fears.”
The Bee Gees
Finally, in my mind the best example of a wall ever created, the magnificent Great Wall of China. For more information, and many more photos, please visit my previous Great Wall post here.
“The wall stretches endless beside you to nowhere”
Poets and songwriters have written of walls in thousands of compositions through the years. Each of today’s quotes is from a song about walls, symbolizing for the most part the barriers we humans build to protect ourselves from the hurt and pain found in everyday life.
Thanks to Cheri for the interesting challenge. To see some other bloggers’ interpretations click here.