The Many Great Walls of China – Weekly Photo Challenge

“Tear down….tear down the walls. Love flows freely when they fall.”

Jan Nigro

(10 Photos)

BIKE ON A WALL

BIKE ON A WALL

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 😊

STRONG WOMEN-WEAK WALLS

STRONG WOMEN-WEAK WALLS

“The more walls you put around you, the more walls are gonna block your view.”

Jan Nigro

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.

MAN IN THE WALL

MAN IN THE WALL

“If these walls could sing they’d sing us a hundred songs.”

Bouncing Souls

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.

DAD AND DAUGHTER

DAD AND DAUGHTER

“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.

RED DOOR

RED DOOR

“I can’t hold out forever; even walls fall down.”

Tom Petty

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.

TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT

TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT

“If you live it off the wall, life ain’t so bad at all.”

Rod Templeton

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 inΒ  Shanghai’s Yuyuan Garden offers another interesting opportunity for wall-watchers.

GARDEN CUTOUT

GARDEN CUTOUT

“Do the walls come down when you think of me?”

Carly Simon

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.

OLYMPIC WALL WASHERS

OLYMPIC WALL WASHERS

“How I long to be a shadow on the wall, I would make no sound at all.”

Brandi Carlile

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.

ARTISTIC ADVERT

ARTISTIC ADVERT

Β “These walls have eyes, these walls have ears. They see the lies, they hide the fears.”

Β 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.

CHINA'S GREAT WALL

CHINA’S GREAT WALL

“The wall stretches endless beside you to nowhere”

David Crosby

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.

Β Thanks to Cheri for the interesting challenge. To see some other bloggers’ interpretations click here.

141 thoughts on “The Many Great Walls of China – Weekly Photo Challenge

  1. Always look forward to reading your quotes and seeing your always superb photos Tina. Great selection this week and perfect for Cheri’s photo challenge. Best wishes and have a great week πŸ™‚

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  3. Tina, what an amazing journey you took us on with this post! I am going to go back to view your one about the Great Wall of China. I have never been to China but my in-laws have and they have shared wonderful tales about their visit.

  4. An intriguing post… Made me think about the apps we humans have so successfully built around ourselves… Sadly.. Your “red door”is beckoning further detail! Linda

  5. I enjoyed all your photos on the series of
    The many great walls of China ~ Fabulously
    beautiful! Unbelievably wonderful are your
    Quotes as well! Imagine that, perfectly matched with BGees, Carly Simon and
    Brandi Carlisle? Genius! 😊

  6. Beautiful interpretation of this week’s challenge, along with magnificent photos from China, Tina. You are so right. Walls are not just physical, but invisible, emotional barriers that we put up around ourselves be it due to fear or our desire to protect ourselves or hide. Sometimes walls test us. For the longest time I put off writing a book because of fear of being judged, then realised that my biggest obstacle was myself. If I can dream it, I can certainly do it and my wall of fear came down.

    Interesting to hear you say the simple crumbling brown-red wall is your favourite photo out of the ones you took on this holiday. I like it too – a simple but mysterious building that has stood the test of time and probably hoards a million stories beneath those boarded windows πŸ™‚

    • Thank you Lois – interestingly it wasn’t a shot I particularly focused on as I reviewed my China favorites the first time through but this time it really called to me. Always depends on your mood when you looking I suppose. Glad you like that one, me too πŸ™‚

  7. Great selections of photos, they show a great sense of humanity within the walls. P.S. In the UK a “hole in the wall” is also a cash machine (ATM, just shows how the same thing can have so many different meanings!

    • Thanks Katie – especially for the ATM info – crazy how something can be so different between two English speaking countries. I always think of the word Boot as the best example πŸ™‚

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  9. These are a fabulous series of shots. Your vision of such an interesting and most historical spot is wonderful along with your commentary. Beautifully done!

    • Thanks very much Francine. Interesting how we pass by what might be considered mundane on our way to the fabulous. Sometimes we just pass by the wonderful without looking!

  10. The contrast of the pink against the gray decaying wall is a terrific image. Good choices! Beautiful images, all of them K

  11. Dad and Daughter and The Red Door are my favorites in your collection of walls. The Great Wall is on my list of places to visit… but as your photos demonstrate, there are a lot more things to see in your images than simply a wall.

  12. Such a wonderful way of seeing China πŸ˜€ Thank you, for giving us such a human and touchable piece of a world many of us have not known. It’s so easy to see our countries as stereotypes, but in reality they are so much more; more human and natural and similar in ways we never expect.

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