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Hiking photos - Changyucheng, 2011/07/09

The Changyucheng ‘Long Valley City’ hike starts from the small town of this name which lies at the base of an unrestored section of Great Wall. The village is home to a tree that is several hundred years old as well as a troupe of traditional Chinese opera performers, all senior citizens, whose hobby it is to occasionally act out scenes from famous operas for visitors.

The village was originally an army barracks for soldiers in charge of the nearby section of Great Wall, and parts of the old fortifications remain: the surrounding walls in the hills, the larger walls that encircled the barracks, and some of the large archways that allowed access.

From this small village we headed up to the reservoir at the head of the long valley and walked around it to enter the nice shady forest. From there, the path at first rose slowly and then turned into a series of switchbacks which climbed out of the valley and up the hillsides, giving us a good view of the surrounding countryside.

The goal and high point of this hike was a Ming Dynasty tower which had been part of the local Great Wall fortifications. From the tower, it's possible to see back down to the village and the old barracks, and in the opposite direction the main stretch of wall in the area is in sight. We think that the tower was built to allow signals to be sent from the main stretch of wall down to the barracks.

After we got back to the village, we had a tasty lunch and took a quick look at the village's temple and ancient tree.

This village dates back to the Ming dynasty, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng day Trip, July09, 2011

This is a view of the recently renovated archway in the ancient wall that once protected the town of Changyucheng.

A close up view of the renovated archway, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng day Trip, July09, 2011

Through the archway...

traditional home, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng day Trip, July09, 2011

Past the small shrine...

Local fishermen, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng day Trip, July09, 2011

Fishing is allowed, but not swimming - a pity!

Small fish, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng day Trip, July09, 2011

Not sure if this will count as a successful fishing trip.

the Changyucheng reservoir, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng day Trip, July09, 2011

A view of the reservoir, looking towards the dam.

A butterfly pollinates, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng day Trip, July09, 2011

A butterfly on vividly colored blossoms.

the approach valley above Changyucheng, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng day Trip, July09, 2011

Looking back down the valley, we could see the reservoir far below.

Flowers of every shape, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng day Trip, July09, 2011

Thistley flowers.

A view of one of the eroded Great Wall towers, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng day Trip, July09, 2011

Far off in the distance was the High Tower, part of the main stretch of wall in the area.

a scenic break, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng day Trip, July09, 2011

A group shot, with the High Tower just visible on the ridgeline in the background.

many villagers still depend on donkeys, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng day Trip, July09, 2011

In some ways, the way of life in the rural villages hasn’t changed much over the centuries. Many villagers still depend on donkeys for transportation and fieldwork.

The town of Changyucheng, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng day Trip, July09, 2011

Part of the wall that surrounded the old barracks. It was likely built around the same time as the Great Wall in the area, with similar construction techniques.

Guest-welcoming pine, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng day Trip, July09, 2011

This mural features what's called a 'Guest-welcoming pine.'

The architectural, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng day Trip, July09, 2011

The village temple and tree.

take photos of some of the ancient buildings and structures, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng day Trip, July09, 2011

The group pauses to take photos of some of the ancient buildings and structures in the village.

A view of a traditional courtyard in the village, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng day Trip, July09, 2011

One of the old courtyards in the village.

Buddhist art, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng day Trip, July09, 2011

An example of Buddhist art.

Some ceramic roof tile decorations, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng day Trip, July09, 2011

Some ceramic roof tile decorations on a home. In ancient times these could indicate the homeowner’s social status to visitors.

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