Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I Made it to the Great Wall!

I had the pleasure of accompanying Mayor Bill Bogaard and others in an official delegation on a 10-day trip to China in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Pasadena's sister city relationship with the Xicheng District of Beijing.

We departed LAX at 1:40 a.m. Saturday, June 19, and arrived in Beijing at 5:20 a.m. the next day. We couldn't check into the hotel at that hour, so we headed to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall -- a two-hour drive from Beijing. Hey, why not? The weather was cool at that hour of the morning and the tourist trade hadn't gone into overdrive yet.

And then I got off the little tour bus and blew out my left knee and tore ligaments in my right leg. (More on that later.)

So there I was at the bottom of the mountain, determined to get to the top where the Great Wall is, with a bum knee, steep cobblestoned inclines and flights of stairs with no railings -- and that was just to get to get to the aerial tramway that would take us to the top!

Not one to be deterred, I did it! I told the others to head on up without me. Then, in the company of Liu Yi of Xicheng District's Human Resources Department, who served as my guide and cheerleader, I began the trek.

She shot the photo of me that you see at the top of this post. I was completely exhausted and in excrutiating pain, yet filled with an unbridled sense of accomplishment.

More on the China trip tomorrow.


Bellis said...

Ann, glad you got to the Great Wall, despite all the pain, but also glad to have you back. Hope the knee and the bronchitis are both better?

ben wideman said...

Awesome photo! Definitely a keepsake you will cherish. Good work!

sarah (Catch A Cub In Its Den) said...

isn't the great wall breathtaking? glad you perservered.

Kat said...

Wow! What a fantastic story-- sorry about your knee, but you will always have an amazing tale to tell!

Margaret said...

What a wonderful opportunity. Sorry about your knee. You're a real trooper.

West Coast Grrlie Blather said...

Yay for your perserverance!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I would have done the same thing; even if it meant crawling

welcome home