A Highlight We Will Never Forget
By Martín San Cristobal
October 22, 2016
Our trip had the best saved for last. The last full day of our journey started early, at 7:30am (although not everyone felt like being on time). Our host for the day was on par with the fantastic crew that helped us every single day of our adventure, and his name was one to remember: Leopard. The destination after the 60-minute drive from our hotel was one activity that all of us had highlighted in the agenda, The Great Wall of China.
The Great Wall is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World and a Unesco World Heritage site. With more than 13,000 miles running from east to west China, these series of fortifications date back to the 7th century BC.
The Great Wall impacted us immediately. From the moment that it became visible from the bus, we couldn’t stop taking pictures and admiring this outstanding achievement of human work. Its immense longitude mixed with the complex and rough geography of the area made such an impact on us that is hard to describe with words.
Our bus left us at the gates of Badaling, which is the most famous sector of the Wall. That is basically for two reasons: it is the segment that is closer to Beijing (80 kilometers from the city center), and was the first one to be opened to the public, in 1957, after going a full restoration process. It is also the most visited, with more than seven million visitors per year.
After taking the group picture in the main gate, the group started to explore both segments available to visit, the South side, with astonishing views and incredibly steep inclines, and the North side, more gentle to navigate but with an enormous amount of visitors. As you can confirm below, the exploration of both segments provided us with some of the most beautiful scenes of our journey in China.
But not everything was walking along the wall. Some of the most adventurous members decided to take on the roller-coaster that sits right next to the Wall, which happened to end in what is called “the bear paradise”; something that resembles a zoo but just with sun bears, distributed in three different areas, and definitely ready to be fed with carrots and fruits that vendors offer to the visitors.
Definitely the most touristic stop of our journey, the visit to The Wall was one that this group will never forget. We were completely amazed by the experience, and even though it was an exhausting activity, was the perfect closing to a fantastic trip. The visit to the Wall also marked the farewell of two fellows, Maddie Cook and Lauren Watts, who had to go straight to the airport from The Wall.
Check out the YLFPChina webpage for more:
Badaling Section of the Great Wall of China
The Badaling section of the Great Wall of China is within Yanqing County. The Wall is about 80 kilometers northwest from downtown Beijing.
The Badaling section of the Great Wall of China was built to protect the Juyongguan Pass (Juyongguan section of the Great Wall) on its south, further protecting the city of Beijing. Badaling is an ancient military defense project located approximately 1,000 meters above sea level.
Stay tuned for more! The Beijing 798 Art Zone & Farewell Dinner is up next!
Martín San Cristobal was born in Argentina, he earned his Bachelor in Business Administration and his Master in Financial Administration, both from the University of Buenos Aires. Throughout his professional career, Martín had the opportunity to work for several international companies such as Iberia, ExxonMobil, Philip Morris, and BMW. In 2008 he joined the Buenos Aires office of AJC International, and in early 2014 he was transferred to the Atlanta headquarters, where he currently serves as the Finance Manager. In 2016, Martín earned a Master in Professional Accounting from the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University and is currently studying for the CPA examinations. He is a member of the Young Leaders of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta. Martín is married to his wife Erin and has two daughters, Belen and Maite.
Homma Rafi | YLFPChina Media Contact
Office of International Initiatives, Georgia State University