First we tried to go up the cable cars but they were closed. It's not unusual for people to take cable cars up. There are portions of the Great Wall all over China that are open to the public and most have cable cars.
So, since they were closed, we decided to walk up.
I have a great fear of heights. When we lived in Europe, it often took all that was in me to climb cathedrals to the top. But if I focus and concentrate, I can do it. Especially if Paul is with me. So we started walking. It's not as hard as it looks because you are going so slowly. You do get passed up by tiny little Chinese women wearing high heels but we have been here long enough that doesn't even injure our egos.
No panic attack yet.
Looking down from almost the top. I stopped walking a little farther than the small house on the left. I was doing well but some nice students came by and starting talking to us. They wanted to take our pictures. I let go of the side, lost my focus and that was that. Paul continued up and took these pictures.
Looking further up.
And further- Paul came back down to me before and didn't go this far.
Guard tower at the top.
The first time we saw the Great Wall was in 2007. We were in van heading out from Beijing with our friend Rudy. He suddenly announced "The Great Wall!" and we looked up and there it was- truly magnificent. The portion of the Great Wall we went to in Shan Hai Guan was very non-commercial and magnificent in it's own way. Definately a place to keep on the list to visit.