Why am I looking so glum here? I hear you say....
This was taken in 2006 and well, in all honesty, I found the Great Wall of China a bit of a bore.
It was cold, my feet hurt, the restaurants were ghastly and the people insanely rude.
In truth, I'm not really a fan of big things.
Nor of decrepit structures that are allegedly amazing feats of human achievement.
Ruins are torture to me and the tallest towers leave me yawning. The very words "UNESCO world heritage site" send a shiver of horror down my spine.
I like people, you see. I would much rather while away an afternoon watching people on a city street. I do like religious sites, but active ones filled with people doing fascinating things and talking noisily. When I visited Angkor Wat I passed a disinterested eye over the majestic ancient ruins and spent all my time at the recently constructed Buddhist temples built on the sides, filled as they were with elderly ladies arguing and mopping and languid monks chain-smoking and asking me silly questions.
I realise that this is possibly a fault. It's just that crumbling old stone doesn't do it for me - I need some signs of life.