Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Places for quiet euphoria - the Great Wall of China

Some places make you feel completely euphoric just because you are there. Usually they are places that you've read so much about, and always wondered over if they really are as great as they say. And then they are, and a bit more.
For me, Taj Mahal in Agra was one of those places and Ryoan-Ji in Kyoto was another. And of course, just landing on any of the outer islands of the archipelago outside Turku makes me euphoric every single time (yes, the archipelago there is that amazing). And then, the latest - the Great Wall of China.
You can bury yourself in the history and statistics of it; 5500 km long wall that was built over 2000 years by millions of Chinese of whom over a million died while working there... and so on. And no, it can't be seen from the space, even if it is the longest structure ever created by man. But none of that really matters when you stand on up on the wall, marveling at how it leads from hilltop to another like a giant scar in the vast landscape. Beautiful in its own masculine way and of course utterly impressive, the wall is definitely worth all the hype.

The wall is still a workplace; just keeping nature from taking over the massive structure is an ongoing project on a giant scale. Seeing the old-fashioned tools the workmen had left behind while having a lunch made me admire the patience of the builders.

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