Last week I was discussing the epic journey that my friend Teddy and I took over two days on the Great Wall in the Zhuizishan region of the Wall (as best we can tell, Zhuizishan encompasses several “sections” of the Wall, which are perhaps a bit hard to define… so I’ve kinda of stopped counting sections I’ve visited, and simply count days spent on the Wall now).   At the end of our second day (see the map below of our journey, we went left to right) we stopped at a place where a road crossed the Wall, BUT, we couldn’t have gone much further… because the Wall ended just in front of us (follow the wall past the top tower and you’ll see it fizzle out).  This brings up an interesting point about the Wall though, it’s not a singular thing.  Turns out it starts and stops many times, and sometimes there are layers of Wall where an Emperor decided to extend the borders in one direction or another.  In this particular case, there is a big gap in the Wall from what you see here, almost until China reaches North Korea, where another section starts.  We’ve seen several maps that show two different sections of the Wall actually extending into North Korea, however we’ve been told on multiple occasions that this is a mistake.  You know me though, I’d like to go see for myself! 🙂  Next week, on my last post about the Great Wall for a while, I’ll share yet another end of the Wall!

The end of this particular day was a bit unique, in that the conditions turned AMAZING.  If you’ve followed along with Picture of the Week for a while, you’ve maybe noticed that a majority of the pictures I post of the Great Wall are in black and white (I even did a photo essay in black and white last time).  Choosing black and white over color is a bit of a style thing, but frankly, I chose black and white for all those because the conditions were so bad.  It’s VERY common for it to be hazy in China, and well, that just doesn’t make good color photos.  However, on this particular day, after two days of rainy-looking gloom, the clouds pulled back and we got to see a wonderful sunset with great side lighting… so I thought I’d make a photo essay of some actual colorful pictures!  Check out the photos below, and tune in next week for the finale.

A brief description of the photos below:

  1. Last week I mentioned the crazy peaks we could see in the distance… to the left are those peaks.  Last week’s image was shot from the furthest one to the left.
  2. I really liked this tower.  When we walked over to it, the whole front side of it had fallen off, so you had to climb up into it.  I actually shot this week’s picture just outside that tower, and the forth image of this set was shot in that tower.
  3. Check out the back range of this photo, and note the towers all along the peaks.  This is what it’s like driving through the Chinese country side on this end of the country.  You constantly either see the Wall off in the distance, or think you’re seeing it!
  4. I loved this picture… except that it’s vertical.  As I mentioned, this was shot from the tower in image #2.

Till next week!

–Dan Thompson

Pungtang Dechen Photrang Dzong

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