China’s Great Wall

I must have seen the Great Wall a thousand times. In school books, Mulan, Age of Empires, Discovery Channel, murals, and cheap reproduction paintings.

But now that I’m actually here (Jinshanling 金山岭), I can barely believe this has actually been built.

The wall, despite being so massive, feels like a part of nature as well, grown rather than built, the way it follows and outlines every detail of the landscape.

Now back in the apartment in Gubei Water Town (古北水镇). I can see the wall outside of the window, but despite half expecting it — because I’ve seen it on paintings a hundred times — the painting above the bed is of a lake.