The Great Wall – 万里长城

My father is extreamly passionate about history. He had a strong affinity towards the rich culture and heritage of the Ming dynasty. As a child I would often hear stories about the Great Wall of China. When I was 7 years old, the playground in my school looked massive, an endless expanse! You can imagine my shock when I heard of a fortified wall that was tens of feet high and boasting to measure 10,000 miles long!

The Great Wall at Badaling.

My dad filled me in with the details about the disciplined soldiers, the watch towers, the famous silk route, and the wall being an important trade route. The most important aspect he emphasized upon was the fact that this was a wall to keep off the invaders & avoid attacks from the northern tribes.

I guess what Paulo Coelho says in ‘The Alchemist’ is in fact true. The Universe does conspire in you favor and helps you achieve what u truly desire. When I used to see pictures of travellers on the Great wall – I used to always wonder when would my turn come? I always fancied being on the Great Wall with a lot of delight.

When I reached Beijing it was the most magical feeling ever, because the Great Wall at Badaling was just an hour away by a very posh and convenient train ride costing just 6 Yuan!

China is amazing with tourism, the connections from the metro to the bullet trains is a seamless transition. I ventured on the Great Wall alone and I had the most beautiful time ever. The weather was perfect! Temperature ranging around 8 – 14 degrees and I was secretly thanking the universe for such a wonderful chance to be at the Great Wall.

When you are up there you can’t ignore the fact that, tremendous effort was taken to build it – for every feet of the wall is precise. This great fortification built of Stone, Brick, Earth & Wood all along the norther terrain of China. The grandeur is mesmerizing. I was filled with awe and wonder, as to how this great venture was humanly possible.  It really is Something!!!

This Wonder of the world scaling the endless mountainous terrain of northern China is intimidating and inspiring. I would strongly recommend a visit to the Oriental Mainland China – as you will cherish it forever.

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Biang Biang Mian!

Biang Biang Mian – from the exotic Shaanxi Province of Mainland China is considered a speciality noodle dish, which is scrumptious and makes you come back for more!

Biang Biang Mian is an enigma in itself, famously known as the Belt Noodle – considering its length and thickness.

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Biang Biang Mian is served in a bowl tossed in aromatic sauces, topped with lots of hot peppers to beat the cold Xi’an chills, a generous sprinkle of grated garlic, lots of freshly cut cilantro topped with marinated and barbeque meat of your choice. This is an absolute delicacy, the aroma is rich and the dish only beats the expectations one might have after just looking at it.

It was introduced to me during my backpacking trip to the Famous city of Xi’An by a dear friend Nimrod.  The first comment was about the Mandarin Symbol for this scrumptious dish – it consists of 58 strokes – quite complex even for a seasoned Mandarin writer.

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This is the Mandarin symbol for Biang Biang Mian – its pretty complex with 58 strokes!

The noodle is handmade and makes one wonder about the precision of every other inch of this noodle that transformed itself to perfection from an innocent lump of dough.

Xi’an is a beautiful city, famous for the terracotta warriors, apart from this archeological site the city has lots more to offer! The weather was beautiful and the best place to taste Biang Biang Mian is at the food street, east of the Bell Tower wall.

I hope the food lovers do get a chance to taste this dish and its worth every penny!