Ok, so you might not actually be able to see it from space and it's actually not one continuous wall, but walking it has to be one of the most spectacular experiences of my travels.
I hadn't put much thought to travelling in China as I had so many places to visit in Southeast Asia that 'the big one' had been somehow overlooked. So when I found out we would have the opportunity to visit Beijing it felt like an added bonus on an already incredible year.
For sometime now, and this is a ridiculously spoilt thing to say, I have felt that our over exposure to images of iconic places and buildings, somewhat diminishes the reality when at last you visit in person. Real life is not through an instagram lens and you can't photoshop picture postcard skies into reality. This did not happen at the Great Wall!
On the days before our trip the sky was grey over Beijing. At one point we either went to the wall on a day the BBC Weather app predicted rain or relinquished our trip to Shanghai. For me there was only one choice: to wait for the perfect day to visit the wall as this would be something to remember for a lifetime.
So one September morning, a little after sunrise we set out with a gang of fellow Peking International Youth Hostel residents to take a three hour bus ride to Jinshanling. From there we walked up and down and up and down and up and down over 6k of wild and not so wild wall to Simatai.
There are so many different ways to visit the wall from taking a cable car up to hiking through snow. We went for the most sensible option. Go as far as possible from Beijing where the crowds don't bother to roam and then do a decent 4 hour trail seeing both restored and non-restored wall. For us this was perfect. We experienced breathtaking views of rural China from what for us will always be the only man made structure visible from space (damn those truth tellers).