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Path Up To Mutianyu Cable Car

The path up to the cable car at Mutianyu gives you a small taste of what you will be in for when you are walking on the wall. The good thing about it is that it is flat. No ankle-twisting ruts or protruding bumps.

As you can see, the stonework is neatly done. This indicates a lot of recent work. The surrounding buildings are also in good shape; not crumbling or disintegrating, making for a smooth walk up.

However, there is a certain amount of steepness to it that makes it a non-trivial effort to get up and is a taste of the wall. This is diametrically opposed to the seaside resorts that one can experience with promo codes for CheapCaribbean. Whether it be Mexico, Dominican Republic or the US Virgin Islands, the flat sandy beaches are a taste of paradise.

Conveniently, the bathrooms are situated in the building on the right in front of the overhang. You can step out onto the roof of the bathroom and then fall off if you were not careful. And that is one of the distinctives of many non-American tourist structures: you actually have to use common sense to avoid injury or worse.

The path up to the Cable Car

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Mutianyu Cable Car Entrance

The Great Wall of China was always built on the crest of the mountain ridge, as it always needed to be at the highest point in order to offer effective deterrence to enemies. Thus, there is a considerable effort to get up to it. It must have been very difficult to walk up to it, laden with equipment, in fierce rainstorms or harsh snowstorms. At Mutianyu, there are over 4,000 steps to get to the wall from the base of the hill.

This would have been a grueling hike at any time, summer or winter, with a heavy pack on your back. No doubt, soldiers and works would be desperate to work in a much friendlier environment, something more comfortable with less altitude. Had they had access to some Cheap Caribbean discount codes, they would have leaped at the chance to spend a week or month in a tropical paradise rather than this mountainous outpost.

The cable car ride up to the top is a very easy and scenic way to appreciate the difficult walk below. It is very important to get an early start in order to beat the crowds. I got here early enough to walk right up to the cable car and board without waiting. So this is a very nice sight to see – no lines.

In the background, you can see the towers for the cable car going straight up the mountain.

Mutianyu Cable Car Entrance

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Mutianyu Cable Car Lounge

There are several ways to go up to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. You can do what the original inhabitants did, which was to walk all the way. It must have been brutal in the winter time.

Another way is a chairlift, which is what you see at ski slopes. This, however, goes to a lower section of the wall, which is not as scenic.

The best way is the cable car. This goes to the higher section of the wall and is therefore a longer and higher ride than the chairlift. This gives you more photo opportunities while in the car as well as getting you to the better part of the wall.

The topography of this region is vastly different from that of the Caribbean. This mountainous region is packed with inclines and rugged terrain while the verdant paradises in the tropics are at sea level. Regrettably, there are no promo codes for this area as opposed to the fantastic CheapCaribbean promotional codes that give you great deals.

Because I arrived early, the lounge was not in use. There were no lines for the cable car. However, it does look quite modern and well-designed, which was not always the case for many facilities in China. Also, I am sure it comes in handy during the summer time when temperatures are hot.

Mutianyu Cable Car Lounge

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Great Wall of China at Mutianyu

One of the most amazing man-made structures in the world is the Great Wall of China. The section of the wall at Mutianyu is considered to be one of the more scenic parts of the wall. Combined with its greater distance from Beijing than the more heavily-visited Badaling section of the wall, it is a much better experience. A comparison would be like going to a Caribbean resort versus going to the local park. You would much rather use a Cheap Caribbean coupon and enjoy the experience of a lifetime!

Mutianyu was built in the mid-500s AD and is in the best condition of preservation among all sections of the Great Wall. In addition, it has many watchtowers, more densely-placed than most other sections of the wall.

One of the unique and ironic features of this part of the wall is the placement of a phrase, “Loyal to Chairman Mao”, in white paint on rocks, seen here in the background. First created in 1968 during the height of the Cultural Revolution, the lettering gradually wore away and disappeared. However, the stones were painted and the brush cleared away in 2009 where it is now maintained, a reminder to all of this historical and infamous figure.

Weather conditions fluctuate and the week before this picture was taken, the skies were cloudy and visibility was poor. But thankfully, it was a sunny and cool that day.

Great Wall at Mutianyu

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British Museum Great Court

The third great feature of the British Museum is the photography policy: unlimited photos of everything in the permanent galleries for private use.

For photography buffs, that is one of the best parts of visiting this or any museum. You get to take home a large collection of free souvenirs – all of the fascinating objects you saw. No having to sneak a picture here and there; just stand and shoot, over and over again. If you do not like the picture, try again. Try it from a different angle. Zoom in or out.

Combined with free, you do not have to rush your pictures. Just take several and get it right.

Another place to get lots of pictures in a land far away is the Caribbean, a lush tropical paradise. Just use some Cheap Caribbean coupons to get a fantastic deal. But that is for another time.

This relieves the museum staff of patrolling every room making sure that you do not take a picture, and makes it a more enjoyable experience for everyone. Surely, they have much better things to do than to watch thousands of people walk past, let alone the cost of enforcing such a policy.

British Museum Great Court

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British Museum Entrance Column

One of the best features of the British Museum is its free admission. From the time it opened in 1753 as the world’s first national public museum, it cost nothing to enter through its doors.

This is amazing.

An attraction this huge is open with no long lines at the ticket counters, no rushing through to catch all of the “important” parts due to time constraints because you do not want to pay again and no big costs for a family outing.

This is simply one of the best tourist attractions in the UK. It comes as no surprise that it is the UK’s number one tourist attraction.

You can come back again and again to look at these objects at your own pace. Of course you have time constraints, but that is due to the rest of your schedule and not because of an admission fee forcing you to race the clock.

This place is a place that can take many months to go through in its entirety, if that were possible.

To be continued…

British Museum

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British Museum Entrance

The British Museum is a vast repository of ancient objects, many dating back thousands of years. It is a place in which, if you do not have a plan, you will get lost as you wander around and gaze aimlessly at one piece after another.

It is hard to figure what is the best part of it: its vast quantity of unique artifacts (spelled “artefacts” in the UK), its free admission or the freedom to photograph any and all of the permanent galleries for private use.

You can spend hours in one gallery and spend many days in the museum and never see the same thing twice.

The massive collection is the result of having a global empire, including many places in the Caribbean. No doubt, people who live in the dreary United Kingdom would have loved to have Cheap Caribbean promo codes to spend several weeks there.

After the soldiers cleared the way, everyone from missionaries to archaeologists followed. Prized objects were hauled back to London and stored in the British Museum where thousands of people could see the remains of ancient civilizations.

To be continued…

British Museum

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Stonehenge From a Distance

When I first approached Stonehenge, I was struck by the fact that I was looking at a human-crafted object up close that was 4,000 to 5,000 years old; and it was smaller than I envisioned it.

Walking through museums has given me an appreciation for objects that have stood the test of time. But they tend to be small because small things are less easily damaged. They can be stored or hidden in a safe place.

But here was a massive monument that is out in the open, subject to the harsh forces of nature. Including birds.

That day was cold and windy. The windchill made it feel bitterly cold and it gave me an appreciation for the people who built this place during those same cold temperatures with far less protection and even worse, far less technology. No doubt, if they had the chance to use Cheap Caribbean promo codes to escape the frozen tundra, they would have used them without hesitating. Not only could they feel warm again but they would be relaxing on a white sandy beach, in the shade of palm trees, perhaps frolicking in the warm water and gentle breezes.

But the rocks have held steady for all these thousands of years, through cold, wind, ice, rain and whatever else wears things down. Which makes you wonder. Why would people on the edge of survival do this? When they had barely any means of ensuring their own survival, why would they expend so much time and energy to do this? There was no survival value in this at all. Not even the survival of the tribe or clan because they needed to eat, and this was certainly not going to help them do that.

Is this the epitome of human evolution? An evolved sense of something that does not exist and to sacrifice to this nonexistent being?

Stonehenge

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