Back to Asia!

I’ve been SUPER excited to share the next several images… more so than usual.  If you’ve hung around Picture of the Week long, you know I’m a bit addicted to the Great Wall of China, and on my latest trip to there, I feel like I did my best work yet photographically.  My friend Teddy and I had some crazy looking conditions while we were there, and we traversed some really sketchy looking (well… ACTUALLY sketchy, not just sketchy looking) sections, which all combined *I* think made for some great images.

It’s kind of funny how my likes have changed since I first saw the Wall.  The first section Holly and I visited was the fully restored (and highly touristy) Mutianyu section.  While we were there, we crossed over onto an unrestored section, but didn’t stay for long because we didn’t think we were supposed to be there (there are these big scary signs everywhere saying not to go further… turns out it’s more of a liability thing.  The areas they really don’t want you on have guards).  The second time I visited the Wall, however, I got to see some of the “wild” sections (what the Chinese refer to the unrestored sections as) of it, and I fell in love.  There is just something about the ruins of the Wall that I find fascinating (Oh, and there are way less people there… there have been many times when we were the only people in sight).

The area we decided to tackle this time is called Zhuizishan.  The closest city of size is Qinhuangdao, which sits on the Yellow Sea, but then you drive about 2 more hours into the middle of nowhere.  We came upon this scene pretty early in on day one of our hiking (/climbing) adventure.  There are actually two of these doorways along this section, one right at the very beginning, and then one a mile or so further on (the one pictured here).  I loved how epic it looked just standing there… a doorway to nowhere now.  Epic… that’s a word I used many more times over the weekend.  Teddy and I knew we were in for an adventure… but we had NO idea how much of one lie ahead!

More next week!

–Dan Thompson

Zhuizishan