Hi again! Welcome back to the Memorable Places series. Here, I'm going to look through my past travels from just over a decade and reflect on some of the places that most stand out in my mind.

Today: The Great Wall of China.

I visited China in March and April of 2009. From Beijing, I took a day trip to hike part of the wall, starting at Jinshanling (about 150km from the capital) to Simatai, which took around 3 hours.

The route was reasonably popular with tourists at that time, but not overrun. The part of the wall closest to Jinshanling was quite consistently restored, mostly in the 1970s, but parts of the route we hiked were also very rugged and clearly hadn't been touched for some time.

It struck me how empty the land around the wall was. Since it was spring when I visited, there wasn't yet much growing, leaving the land looking barren. But despite that, it was clear there were no signs of past or present civilisation anywhere near the wall.

Have you ever visited the Great Wall of China? Would you go back?

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