greatwall_0008.gifDuring this year, we communicate mainly in English. Sometimes it’s hard to understand someone speaking with a Chinese or Indian accent and almost every time people knows we’re French because of our accent! But it’so usefull to be able to understand each other thanks to English!

As we should all speak some words of English to travel and as a lot of you are studying English at school, here is the sum-up of our day on the Great Wall. There is little game: you have to find the mistakes..:)

Monday, the 19th of November, we went by car to Simatai. It’s 3 hours from Beijing. There you can see a section of the Great Wall of 19km. This section of wall is very special: the scenery is wonderfull, from the wall you can see so many hills... In some parts of this section, you have to climb to reach one of the 30 watchtowers of the section Simatai-Jinshanlin.

greatwall_0004.gifWe could think that the Great Wall is at one of the boundaries of China, like the one with Mongolia for instance, but it’s quite near from Beijing. In fact separate walls were constructed by independent kingdoms (to keep out marauding nomads) and then were linked together. The Great Wall was begun over 2000 years ago during the Qin dynasty (221-207 BC), when China was unified under Empereur Qin Shai Huang. The effort required hundreds of thousands of workers, many of them were political prisoners.

The wall never really did perform its function as an impenetrable line of defence. However it did work very well as a kind of elevated highway, transporting people and equipment across mountainous terrain.

greatwall_0000.gifThe myth that the Great Wall is visible with the naked eye from the moon was finally buried in 2003, when China’s firts astronaut Yang Liwei failed to spot the barrier from space. The wall can be seen from a low earth orbit, but so many other objects of human construction, such as motorways and railways.

We really enjoyed our day on the Great Wall. We were lucky because it was sunny. It was also very cold and we imaginated the life of the soldiers who lived on the Great Wall so many years ago... We read on our guide that the Great Wall is the“must-see-sight” of China and it’s probably true. It’s an amazing scenery: this wall on the top of the hills, during kilometers and kilometers, surrounded by nothing but mountains! It’s an impressive human construction surrounded by a wonderfull Nature....