Up and Down the Great Wall of China

It would be difficult to walk the entire Great Wall, but one can experience what it’s like along a portion of it.

Approaching Juyong Pass near Beijing, one gets a glimpse of the famous wall and anticipation builds up. After all, climbing the Great Wall is on many people’s bucket list!

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One quickly realizes that this is not going to be a “walk in the park.”  The wall served as fortification, hence they were made for soldiers and not for tourists. Still, it’s part of the experience…

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The start of the climb up. If you’re early enough it won’t be that crowded.

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Near the top.

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The long way up is the long way down.

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The view from halfway. The good thing is that you can see this twice – on the way up, and on the way down.

It’s a Quest worth doing at least once.

(More info on the Great Wall here.)

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The Venetian in Macau – Pure Imagination

“Come with me and you’ll be
In a world of pure imagination
Take a look and you’ll see
Into your imagination

We’ll begin with a spin
Traveling in the world
Of my creation
What we’ll see
Will defy explanation”

– Pure Imagination, from “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory”

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The Venetian in Macau is rightly described by Google search as a “Vegas-style Venice-themed casino and resort.”

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It’s got the works, from the opulent ceilings and halls, right down to the perpetually sunny “sky” and gondola rides.

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Like Charlie given a “golden ticket” to the Chocolate Factory, visitors are given a sensory overload, and one can easily get sucked in. “No one ever gets out,” Charlie is warned.

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One can get trapped in here too, specially in the casino downstairs. But, like Charlie who had a pure heart, one can pass the test. One can enjoy the painted “sky” and the gondolas while remembering that it is all make-believe. Pure imagination.

Terracota Warriors and Horses in Xian, China

“The eyes are the window to the soul.”

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They were fashioned out of the ground, each one unique, a life-size replica of a person.

Their eyes show one purpose — the determination to fulfil their duty, an army ready to march into battle.
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Do we see in their eyes a living soul?
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Can they be like man, “formed of the dust of the ground,” come to life when the breath of life was “breathed into his nostrils”? (Genesis 2:7)

The emperor had a different idea. Their purpose is in the afterlife, not in this world. They are not dust meant to be breathed into life with a soul — they are dust meant to become souls.

These souls are probably busy defending the emperor in the afterlife right now. Let’s hope they remain there.

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In the meantime, we can admire these exquisite sculptures, which were made more than 2,200 years ago.

(More info on the Terracota warriors and horses.)

Eye Spy