From space, we can really get an idea of the impact that we personally have had on the world as a whole. We're so high up that we can't see our families, our houses, or even the big Bayview Eglinton condo complex on the corner. We can't even see Toronto. Canada just looks like a wilderness. In fact, there's only one man made object that can be seen from space. Would you be surprised to know that it was built in the 5th Century BC? Since then, not one human structure has come close to the impact made by the Great Wall of China.

You can hardly expect to take a trip to China without visiting the Great Wall. It takes so much arranging just to leave our Bolton homes that we can't go back without seeing it. Therefore, when you're planning your vacation to Shanghai or Beijing, make sure to budget time for a trip inland to see the wall. The wall stretches across the northern part of the country. From Beijing, it takes about two to three hours to reach the wall. From Shanghai, you will need to fly north to see the wall.

Many people are surprised to learn that the Great Wall of China was actually built and rebuilt several times. The earliest incarnation of the wall was built in the 5th Century BC and was little more than an earthen mound. The Great Wall of China that we know today and can still visit was built in the Ming Dynasty, which stretched from the 1300s to the 1600s. At that time, the area where your Vaughan houses now stand was still owned by Natives who had never seen or heard of a European.

The Great Wall of China is a UNESCO World Heritage site. You may have read about it in a magazine while visiting day spas in Mississauga. The wall is almost 9,000 kilometers long and consists of trenches, stone walls, towers, and natural barriers such as ravines and lakes. Most of the fortified sections of the wall are in mountain pass areas that would have received heavy traffic and forced travelers to go through gates where they could be assessed.

The most commonly visited sections of the wall are these mountain pass areas, as they are within convenient day travel distance from Beijing. If you want to visit the wall, simply pack your child's diapers and some snacks and hop on one of the many buses traveling to the attraction. A guided tour would probably be best, as all the signs will be in Chinese.

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