@myvmission

Virtual Great Wall: Remnants II

The second postcard in succession also speaks of inaccessible portions of the wall.

The Conqueror writes:

Simatai Wall is the first of several closely located Great Wall sections north of Beijing. It has been partially restored but only as far as carrying out essential reinforcement work, preserving the original appearance and as such keeping the historic atmosphere. The Wall is divided by Simatai Reservoir and the two sides are connected by a suspension bridge about 530ft (150m) long. The west section used to lead to Jinshanling Wall but is no longer open due to its ruinous and dangerous state.

The restored section on the east side is accessed from the foot of the mountain, adjacent to the reservoir. The hike on the Wall is rugged and steep. There are 16 towers in all but only 10 of them are open to tourists. Although it seems to be more of a guideline than a rule, since some daredevils have conquered it. Let me illustrate the hike.

The trail begins at Tower 1 near the suspension bridge. Proceeding east, the trail passes through towers, up steep stairs and then back down. Between Towers 4 and 5 the wall is only on one side of the path with a chain safety-barrier on the other.

There is a fantastic view of west Simatai winding its way up the mountain from Tower 7 and a cable car terminal at Tower 8. The path flattens out a bit up to Tower 10.

From Tower 12 there is no more path…

It goes on, describing the next sections and the haggard climbs necessary to reach Towers 13 through 16. Its sounds exhausting and exhilarating and amazing.

But it wouldn’t be right to share the whole postcard. Though I was tempted.

Oh man it made me want to go!

@myvmission, experiments in cooking

Virtual France, Real Cordon Bleu

Long ago and far away, I took French classes in school. In my school in the mid Atlantic states, they were mostly using French class to look at French art or read French authors or do French cooking. It was senior year before any actual French was spoken in any meaningful way.

Before that though, in my school in New England, the purpose of French class was to actually learn French. If we read French authors, we read them in French. We spoke exclusively French in class – even the grammar lessons were in French.

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