Badaling, China

The Sino Invasion of the Great Wall of China

Free smile
A craft seller in the southern reaches of the Badaling wall.
Pioneer Effort
First visitors of the day overcome one of the countless ramps in Badaling's wall.
to the handrail
Group grabs a handrail on one of Badaling's steepest stretches.
in a high
A group of Chinese visitors enjoy the view from the top of a curved elevation of the Great Wall of China.
almost alone
A solitary sunshade on a winding section of the Badaling wall.
Chinese man imposes himself on the relief with the highest section of the wall as a background.
forced rest
A visitor surrenders to the fatigue caused by successive ascents and descents and by steps that are too high.
Chinese roller coaster
After the ascent comes another descent.
Mostly Chinese tourists live between communist and nation flags.
holy rest
Buddhist monk recovers from the effort after overcoming a steep climb.
red china
Chinese flag flies with the silhouette of the wall of China in Badaling.
in frame
Part of the Great Wall of China as seen from an arched portal next to Bebalou.
In Full Forest
Great section of the wall of China extended by the forested relief around Badaling.
Rest & Shade
Visitors protect themselves from the summer sun under bright umbrellas.
To the Conquest of Bebalou
Friends climb one of the steep stairs that lead to the highest point in Beibalou.
bell selfie
Woman is photographed between Chinese flags placed on a low platform on the wall.
a busy ramp
Hundreds of Chinese walk along a steep section of the wall.
With the arrival of the hot days, hordes of Han visitors take over the Great Wall of China, the largest man-made structure. They go back to the era of imperial dynasties and celebrate the nation's newfound prominence.

We found no sign of life when we arrived at the ticket offices.

We approach the turnstiles to peek beyond the barrier and are detected by a sleepy security guard who, even though he is upset, checks out that early morning presence.

"It's 35 minutes to open, inform us in elementary, hard-working English." We ask you if there is any possibility of letting us in right away and explain why.

The guard lets himself be sensitized. "Very good. If you want to go now, no problem. They give me an ID and then come buy the tickets.”

We can hardly believe in such goodness. We had woken up with the chickens to anticipate the expected flood of visitors that summer weekend. Not only did we manage it, we were the first of the day to climb the wall.

Wall and Towers, Wall of China, Badaling, China

Great section of the wall of China extended by the forested relief around Badaling.

For half an hour, we explore and enjoy the architectural-military colossus in a pure way, under a soft light at the beginning of the day that respects its wavy lines and the surrounding lush vegetation.

We took it step by step until we reached, breathless, tower 8, the highest point in the northern section, the final stop of the cable car and where the first Chinese excursions would soon disembark, many still moved by the latent sound of the historical leader's words Mao Zedong: "He who has never climbed the Great Wall is not a real man."

A clandestine seller of DVDs and themed books appears from a lower portico and ends our exclusivity. He examines the surrounding reality and moves, somewhat suspiciously, towards us.

We noticed that he had entered without authorization or a ticket and that he was taking the opportunity to settle down and do some business before the guards began their patrol.

Visitors, Great Wall of China, Badaling, China

First visitors of the day overcome one of the countless ramps in Badaling's wall.

These and other types of intrusions were what the wall's mentors wanted to avoid. But the purpose would never be perfectly fulfilled.

The Great Stone Defense of the Chinese Empire

Construction began between 221 and 207 BC. During the Qin Dynasty, Emperor Qin Shi Huang finally sealed the unification of China.

By his order, several walls formerly built by independent kingdoms to protect themselves from marauding nomadic tribes were joined by hundreds of thousands of workers, largely prisoners.

The task took ten years. About 180 million cubic meters of earth formed the basis of the original structure. Legend has it that the bones of the dead workers were another of the materials used in the fortification.

Giant Wall, with Feet of Clay

Despite the scope of the work, Genghis Khan summed up its fragility: “The strength of the wall depends on the courage of those who defend it”. Over time, the ease with which sentries were bribed was noticed, among other vulnerabilities.

Seller, Wall of China, Badaling-China

A craft seller in the southern reaches of the Badaling wall.

And also that the fort was very useful as a kind of elevated road that allowed people and goods to be transported along the mountainous terrain.

The Badaling section was only erected in 1505, during the Ming dynasty. Since then, the signaling system with smoke signals produced from tower to tower has allowed an even faster transmission of news about the movement of enemies to Beijing, capital of the empire from 1421 to 1911. Today, the capital is still only 70 km away.

From it depart, by train, buses and other vehicles, the tourist crowds eager to access the Great Wall.

The Almost Omnivision Granted by Bebalou

It is from the highest point of Beibalou (1015 m) that we can see the invasion of visitors taking place, first arriving on foot from the entrance portals into the valley, then from the cable car station in our vicinity.

In a flash, the morning peace and solitude gives way to an inexorable and hard-working pilgrimage that advances up and down ramps and steps and takes over the wide walkways.

We remember, therefore, that we are in a country with 1.3 billion inhabitants, the largest population in the world.

Ascent, Great Wall of China, Badaling, China

Hundreds of Chinese walk along a steep section of the wall.

From the 8th tower inwards, the wall plunges towards the depths of the valley. It becomes so vertiginous that it is risky to go down without using the handrails added to the walls.

Certain elderly visitors face this section with obvious fear and cling to the supports with all their strength. When we walk along it, a Buddhist monk takes a strategic break from that extreme pilgrimage.

Their hesitant presence blesses but also disturbs the rest of the passers-by, who are already hampered by the forced transport of parasols, bags and other cargo. But the slope gets even more accentuated.

Meanders, Wall of China, Badaling, China

A group of Chinese visitors enjoy the view from the top of a curved elevation of the Great Wall of China.

From almost the foot of the slope, we can see with increasing clarity how the wall curves and curves again, submissive to the whims of the relief.

The Early Visit of the Jesuit Bento de Góis

This is something that can be seen both in Badaling and along its more than 21.196 km, from the Shanhaiguan area that merged with the Pacific Ocean and avoided the attacks of the Manchu people to the western and desert confines of Gansu province where Jiayuguan served as portico to the Chinese section of the Silk Road.

One of the first Westerners to enter China through this last passage was the Portuguese Jesuit Bento de Góis. It arrived from the north of India, in 1605, possibly informed of the accounts present in books that Portuguese merchants had brought to Lisbon.

Of course also by the previous descriptions of the "Asian Decades"Of João de Barros, by the narrations of the Dominican friar Gaspar da Cruz.

And even the failed ambassador Tomé Pires, who saw the project of becoming influential in the court of Emperor Ming Zhengde fail, but despite having witnessed the beginning of a Chinese persecution of Portuguese traders, he lived in China for a few more years.

Buddhist monk, Wall of China, Badaling, China

Buddhist monk recovers from the effort after overcoming a steep climb.

The Sun on the Wall. Time for Rest and Lunchtime Bell

Time also flows on the day we dedicate to Badaling and the sun quickly sinks. Around one in the afternoon, most families, groups of friends and other entourages are ecstatic, hungry and determined to overcome such ordeals.

They are installed, therefore, in an area of ​​the wall that is hidden below Beibalou and equipped with highly disputed tables and chairs.

They then inaugurate countless picnics, decided on the basis of noodles instants, others more elaborate but still made from delicacies preserved in plastic containers: boiled eggs, dumplings, dried meats and vegetables, food almost always with an industrial aspect and scandalous expiration dates.

We leave behind the 12th tower. We come across Qinlongqiao Station and its entrance. Outside, there is a commercial concentration that attracts thousands of visitors.

We have temporarily abandoned the hold on the wall to join the fair.

Small crowd, Great Wall of China, Badaling, China

Visitors protect themselves from the summer sun under bright umbrellas.

Qinlongqiao: the entrance to the China Wall Fair

We soon realized that this was where the sellers took revenge for not being able to work on the wall.

After the turnstiles, we are confronted with a battalion of small businessmen who impose memories of the wall or of China, on the move or on small stands.

We also find a small improvised zoo with camels that people ride to photograph themselves in haughty poses, enclosures full of acrobatic Malay bears, others with monkeys and different species that, despite the pitiful conditions to which they are voted, are fulfilling their function of entertain the crowd.

Onwards, there are also stalls with fresh and dried fruits, mini-kitchens outdoors that serve all kinds of Chinese snacks as a meal, which heat and grease the scorching, dry summer air in those parts.

Cowboy Style, Chinese Wall, Badaling, China

Chinese man imposes himself on the relief with the highest section of the wall as a background.

A Persistence Rewarded with Seclusion and Peace

After the meal and the well-deserved rest, some visitors return to the entrance area. From there, instead of leaving, the younger and more persistent ones set out to conquer the southern section of the wall, as or more time-consuming and strenuous than the north.

We force ourselves and our legs to do it and are rewarded with a peaceful route, endowed with watchtowers grander than those on the opposite cardinal point and embellished by the ever-softer light of the sun, which soon sets.

On our way back to the portico, because we had entered in the morning, the official in charge of ensuring that the doors with visitors on the adarves passes by us.

We are, again, almost the only ones on the wall and we noticed that, close to the valley, the merlons had been alternately decorated with national or Chinese Communist Party (CCP) flags.

Chinese Flags, Chinese Wall, Badaling, China

Mostly Chinese tourists live between communist and nation flags.

During the afternoon, some diplomatic representative had frequented the fortification, and the hosts took the opportunity to show off the nation's political vigor, in addition to its historical sumptuousness.

A few dozen Chinese who persist there enjoy the decoration and leave it. They are photographed between the flags, with the verdant backdrop as a background and proud of the grandeur of their red homeland.

Selfie, Wall of China, Badaling, China

Woman is photographed between Chinese flags placed on a low platform on the wall.

Bingling Yes, China

The Canyon of a Thousand Buddhas

For more than a millennium and at least seven dynasties, Chinese devotees have extolled their religious belief with the legacy of sculpture in a remote strait of the Yellow River. If you disembark in the Canyon of Thousand Buddhas, you may not find all the sculptures, but you will find a stunning Buddhist shrine.
Dunhuang, China

An Oasis in the China of the Sands

Thousands of kilometers west of Beijing, the Great Wall has its western end and the China and other. An unexpected splash of vegetable green breaks up the arid expanse all around. Announces Dunhuang, formerly crucial outpost on the Silk Road, today an intriguing city at the base of Asia's largest sand dunes.
Lijiang, China

A Gray City but Little

Seen from afar, its vast houses are dreary, but Lijiang's centuries-old sidewalks and canals are more folkloric than ever. This city once shone as the grandiose capital of the Naxi people. Today, floods of Chinese visitors who fight for the quasi-theme park it have become take it by storm.
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Guilin, China

The Gateway to the Chinese Stone Kingdom

The immensity of jagged limestone hills around it is so majestic that the authorities of Beijing they print it on the back of the 20-yuan notes. Those who explore it almost always pass through Guilin. And even if this city in the province of Guangxi clashes with the exuberant nature around it, we also found its charms.
Lijiang e Yangshuo, China

An Impressive China

One of the most respected Asian filmmakers, Zhang Yimou dedicated himself to large outdoor productions and co-authored the media ceremonies of the Beijing OG. But Yimou is also responsible for “Impressions”, a series of no less controversial stagings with stages in emblematic places.
Dali, China

The Surrealist China of Dali

Embedded in a magical lakeside setting, the ancient capital of the Bai people has remained, until some time ago, a refuge for the backpacker community of travelers. The social and economic changes of China they fomented the invasion of Chinese to discover the southwest corner of the nation.
Lhasa, Tibet

The Sino-Demolition of the Roof of the World

Any debate about sovereignty is incidental and a waste of time. Anyone who wants to be dazzled by the purity, affability and exoticism of Tibetan culture should visit the territory as soon as possible. The Han civilizational greed that moves China will soon bury millenary Tibet.

Nantou, Taiwan

In the Heart of the Other China

Nantou is Taiwan's only province isolated from the Pacific Ocean. Those who discover the mountainous heart of this region today tend to agree with the Portuguese navigators who named Taiwan Formosa.

Huang Shan, China

Huang Shan: The Yellow Mountains of the Floating Peaks

The granitic peaks of the floating yellow mountains of Huang Shan, from which acrobat pines sprout, appear in artistic illustrations from China without count. The real scenery, in addition to being remote, remains hidden above the clouds for over 200 days.
Dali, China

Chinese Style Flash Mob

The time is set and the place is known. When the music starts playing, a crowd follows the choreography harmoniously until time runs out and everyone returns to their lives.
Beijing, China

The Heart of the Great Dragon

It is the incoherent historic center of Maoist-Communist ideology and almost all Chinese aspire to visit it, but Tianamen Square will always be remembered as a macabre epitaph of the nation's aspirations.
Jabula Beach, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Saint Lucia, South Africa

An Africa as Wild as Zulu

On the eminence of the coast of Mozambique, the province of KwaZulu-Natal is home to an unexpected South Africa. Deserted beaches full of dunes, vast estuarine swamps and hills covered with fog fill this wild land also bathed by the Indian Ocean. It is shared by the subjects of the always proud Zulu nation and one of the most prolific and diverse fauna on the African continent.
Thorong La, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, photo for posterity
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 13th - High camp a Thorong La to Muktinath, Nepal

At the height of the Annapurnas Circuit

At 5416m of altitude, the Thorong La Gorge is the great challenge and the main cause of anxiety on the itinerary. After having killed 2014 climbers in October 29, crossing it safely generates a relief worthy of double celebration.
Traditional houses, Bergen, Norway.
Architecture & Design
Bergen, Norway

The Great Hanseatic Port of Norway

Already populated in the early 1830th century, Bergen became the capital, monopolized northern Norwegian commerce and, until XNUMX, remained one of the largest cities in Scandinavia. Today, Oslo leads the nation. Bergen continues to stand out for its architectural, urban and historical exuberance.
Salto Angel, Rio that falls from the sky, Angel Falls, PN Canaima, Venezuela
PN Canaima, Venezuela

Kerepakupai, Salto Angel: The River that Falls from Heaven

In 1937, Jimmy Angel landed a light aircraft on a plateau lost in the Venezuelan jungle. The American adventurer did not find gold but he conquered the baptism of the longest waterfall on the face of the Earth
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Ceremonies and Festivities
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Kolmanskop, Namib Desert, Namibia
Kolmanskop, Namíbia

Generated by the Diamonds of Namibe, Abandoned to its Sands

It was the discovery of a bountiful diamond field in 1908 that gave rise to the foundation and surreal opulence of Kolmanskop. Less than 50 years later, gemstones have run out. The inhabitants left the village to the desert.
Margilan, Uzbekistan

An Uzbekistan's Breadwinner

In one of the many bakeries in Margilan, worn out by the intense heat of the tandyr oven, the baker Maruf'Jon works half-baked like the distinctive traditional breads sold throughout Uzbekistan
One against all, Sera Monastery, Sacred Debate, Tibet
Lhasa, Tibet

Sera, the Monastery of the Sacred Debate

In few places in the world a dialect is used as vehemently as in the monastery of Sera. There, hundreds of monks, in Tibetan, engage in intense and raucous debates about the teachings of the Buddha.
combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Faithful light candles, Milarepa Grotto temple, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna Circuit: 9th Manang to Milarepa Cave, Nepal

A Walk between Acclimatization and Pilgrimage

In full Annapurna Circuit, we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). we still need acclimatize to the higher stretches that followed, we inaugurated an equally spiritual journey to a Nepalese cave of Milarepa (4000m), the refuge of a siddha (sage) and Buddhist saint.
Jumping forward, Pentecost Naghol, Bungee Jumping, Vanuatu
Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

Pentecost Naghol: Bungee Jumping for Real Men

In 1995, the people of Pentecostes threatened to sue extreme sports companies for stealing the Naghol ritual. In terms of audacity, the elastic imitation falls far short of the original.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

Fort Galle, Sri Lanka, Ceylon Legendary Taprobana
Galle, Sri Lanka

Galle Fort: A Portuguese and then Dutch (His) story

Camões immortalized Ceylon as an indelible landmark of the Discoveries, where Galle was one of the first fortresses that the Portuguese controlled and yielded. Five centuries passed and Ceylon gave way to Sri Lanka. Galle resists and continues to seduce explorers from the four corners of the Earth.
Palm trees of San Cristobal de La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands
Tenerife, Canary Islands

East of White Mountain Island

The almost triangular Tenerife has its center dominated by the majestic volcano Teide. At its eastern end, there is another rugged domain, even so, the place of the island's capital and other unavoidable villages, with mysterious forests and incredible abrupt coastlines.
coast, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland
Winter White
Seydisfjordur, Iceland

From the Art of Fishing to the Fishing of Art

When shipowners from Reykjavik bought the Seydisfjordur fishing fleet, the village had to adapt. Today, it captures Dieter Roth's art disciples and other bohemian and creative souls.
shadow vs light
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
Rancho Salto Yanigua, Dominican Republic, mining stones
Montana Redonda and Rancho Salto Yanigua, Dominican Republic

From Montaña Redonda to Rancho Salto Yanigua

Discovering the Dominican northwest, we ascend to the Montaña Redonda de Miches, recently transformed into an unusual peak of escape. From the top, we point to Bahia de Samaná and Los Haitises, passing through the picturesque Salto Yanigua ranch.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Cumbre Vieja, La Palma, Eruption, Tsunami, A Televisioned Apocalypse
Natural Parks
La Palma, Canary IslandsSpain (España)

The Most Mediatic of the Cataclysms to Happen

The BBC reported that the collapse of a volcanic slope on the island of La Palma could generate a mega-tsunami. Whenever the area's volcanic activity increases, the media take the opportunity to scare the world.
Incandescent Mouth, Big Island Hawaii, Volcanoes National Park, Lava Rivers
UNESCO World Heritage
Big Island, Hawaii

Searching for Rivers of Lava

There are five volcanoes that make the big island of Hawaii grow day by day. Kilauea, the most active on Earth, is constantly releasing lava. Despite this, we live a kind of epic to envision it.
Correspondence verification
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
Magnificent Atlantic Days
Morro de São Paulo, Brazil

A Divine Seaside of Bahia

Three decades ago, it was just a remote and humble fishing village. Until some post-hippie communities revealed the Morro's retreat to the world and promoted it to a kind of bathing sanctuary.
Young people walk the main street in Chame, Nepal
Annapurna Circuit: 1th - Pokhara a ChameNepal

Finally, on the way

After several days of preparation in Pokhara, we left towards the Himalayas. The walking route only starts in Chame, at 2670 meters of altitude, with the snowy peaks of the Annapurna mountain range already in sight. Until then, we complete a painful but necessary road preamble to its subtropical base.
On Rails
On Rails

Train Travel: The World Best on Rails

No way to travel is as repetitive and enriching as going on rails. Climb aboard these disparate carriages and trains and enjoy the best scenery in the world on Rails.
Singapore, Success and Monotony Island

The Island of Success and Monotony

Accustomed to planning and winning, Singapore seduces and recruits ambitious people from all over the world. At the same time, it seems to bore to death some of its most creative inhabitants.
Visitors at Talisay Ruins, Negros Island, Philippines
Daily life
Talisay City, Philippines

Monument to a Luso-Philippine Love

At the end of the 11th century, Mariano Lacson, a Filipino farmer, and Maria Braga, a Portuguese woman from Macau, fell in love and got married. During the pregnancy of what would be her 2th child, Maria succumbed to a fall. Destroyed, Mariano built a mansion in his honor. In the midst of World War II, the mansion was set on fire, but the elegant ruins that endured perpetuate their tragic relationship.
Sheep and hikers in Mykines, Faroe Islands
Mykines, Faroe Islands

In the Faeroes FarWest

Mykines establishes the western threshold of the Faroe archipelago. It housed 179 people but the harshness of the retreat got the better of it. Today, only nine souls survive there. When we visit it, we find the island given over to its thousand sheep and the restless colonies of puffins.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.