Oliver Do you know what Richard Nixon said when they took him to the Great Wall of China?
Nadia No. No, what did Nixon say?
Oliver He said “This a great wall.”
Oliver It’s awesome isn’t it?
Nadia Kind of.
Oliver What I admire: It’s majestic in it’s simplicity. Of all the reactions a human being could have on being shown a wall, Nixon’s is the purest. The most undeniable.
Nadia Nobody fools Richard Nixon.
Nadia He knows a great wall when he sees one.
Oliver I think it may just be the all-time Zen remark of politics.
From: The Vertical Hour (written by David Hare)
Oliver: Bill Nighy
Nadia: Julianne Moore
He was already a part of my trip long before I got to New York.
I didn’t have time to climb the Great Wall of China, I only had one day in Beijing and chose to see other things in stead. But the wall has accompanied us on a fair bit of our trip through China. It’s amazing to think about the fact that this wall is 6352 km long, that’s only about a 1000 km shorter than the distance my train did from Moscow to Beijing! We could see it snailing through the landscape, over mountains and through flat areas. In some areas it wasn’t very wide, and in the mountain areas it was so steep that I was wondering how on earth they ever were able to built it!
One thing I learned (ignorant as I was) : it is not visible from the moon.
This is not a great picture (taken from my train window) but this is a great wall.
(you can find a slightly larger version of it in the photoblog.)