The Chinese must clearly be an extremely modest and unassuming people! Why do I say that? Because recently, I ticked yet another item of my rather long and (probably) overly ambitious bucket list and got to walk a section of the Great Wall of China! The wall itself — when you experience it up close and personal — is not huge and in your face like the pyramids — it’s much more subtle. For starters, the wall stands no more than about 20 feet in height and approximately 20 feet wide and is topped off with watch towers at intervals of approximately every 150 metres or so, depending on the nature of the terrain and its steepness. It’s when you think though that this man-made structure stretches for some 5,500 miles across China that you begin to get a pain in your head. Take for example, the coastline of Ireland. Think of all the beaches, bays, inlets, estuaries and offshore islands that make up this beautiful little island of ours. Think of the jagged nature of our coastline and the manner in which it turns in and out on itself a thousand times as you mentally navigate your way around the Ring of Kerry, Connemara, Donegal etc. Now consider that all that coastline comes to 1, 970 miles and you begin to get some idea of what an unbelievable task it must have been to build a wall and towers of such magnitude that it could follow the contours of every single cliff on our coastline three times over and then you begin to get some inkling of what the Great Wall is all about. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, they built it along the razor-sharp ridges of multiple mountain ranges instead of just on the flat! If the Great Wall had been built in anywhere other than China — say the USA — it would have been called the Stupendous Wall, or the Gargantuan Wall or the Mo-Fo of all walls put together with knobs on it, times 1,000. But it wasn’t. And they didn’t. They simply referred to it as the great wall. ‘Under promise and over deliver’ is a mantra that is often cited in selling. That too must have been invented by the Chinese. Hats off. I’m impressed!
The art of getting a quote that is both competitive in price and relevant to your needs starts with gathering all the right information about what you want to do (or think you want to do!).