Two Iraqi protesters killed, 25 wounded in clashes with police: Sources    Angola may ask Portugal to seize dos Santos' assets, says prosecutor    Reuters analysis: Trump's peace plan may polarise the Middle East it seeks to calm    Sudan signs initial political and security deal with rebel group    Kaspersky detects ‘data-leak compensation' scheme affecting Egypt, other countries    How many apps were downloaded in 2019?    Despite FDA's anti-vaping campaign, popularity of e-cigarette grows    Interdisciplinary study reveals new insights into evolution of sign language    Books not to miss this book fair - The dreams and agonies of an Egyptian filmmaker    Manchester United fined for failing to control players    As Lebanese struggle to make ends meet, living costs set to soar higher    Egypt up 69 places in global ranking for average ADSL internet speed in 2019    Technical, legal committee meeting on GERD concludes in Khartoum    Financial solvency biggest challenge in Egypt's smart transport market    Live score: Egypt's Zamalek v DR Congo's TP Mazembe (African Champions League)    Title race not over yet, insists Liverpool's Klopp    WHO says 'bit too early' to declare coronavirus a global emergency    Egypt's Sisi marks National Police Day with visit to Police Academy    Audio recording: The voice of a 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy    Al-Sisi reviews GERD negotiation updates ahead of Washington meeting    Egypt's achievements will be starting point for building modern state: El-Sisi    Shoukry says only way out of Libyan crisis is by forming independent government    Egypt starts screening travellers from China for new coronavirus    China shuts city of millions to stop spread of deadly virus    Militants set off car bombs, storm army positions in Syria's Idlib: State news agency    Virus fears drag down European stocks ahead of ECB policy decision    Apple's Safari web browser users are tracked despite prevention feature    Egypt, UK sign billions-worth deals at investment summit    Egypt banking system outlook stable on robust growth, high liquidity: Moody's    Egypt is boosting economic growth rates, women's role: El-Mashat    Sesame Street launches Arabic TV programme for Middle East children dealing with displacement    US Congress delegation visits North Sinai: Armed Forces    Egypt in a group with Gabon, Libya, Angola in 2022 World Cup qualifiers    Senate approves Trump impeachment trial plan, rejects Democrats on documents, witnesses    Palm Springs Film Festival announces 31st edition's winners    Egypt to play Angola for group leadership in African Men's Handball Championship quarter-finals    Al-Sisi orders additional social protection programmes for low-income: MP    Italy former honorary consul sentenced to 15 years jailtime for smuggling artefacts    Palm Hills signs EGP 505m credit facility with AUB to refinance existing debt    Maspero triangle's towers will be up and standing in 30 months: NUCA    TMG to sponsor 5 Egyptian athletes qualified to Tokyo Olympics 2020    Harry, Meghan drop their royal titles repay £2.4 mln    ‘Djamila Bouhired' movie star Magda al-Sabahi dies at 89    Egypt is best tourism destination for 2020 according to BBC    NBE studies establishment of rowing club in Cairo    Egypt's Zamalek, Smouha presidents hit with disciplinary sanctions by EFA    Egypt's President Sisi pardons some prisoners on 25 Jan. Revolution anniversary    Egypt's Sami Anan released after near two-year detention    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

One man's mission to walk Great Wall of China with drone
Published in Amwal Al Ghad on 08 - 01 - 2017

William Lindesay has been obsessed with the Great Wall of China since seeing it in a school atlas as a child in England, and last year embarked on an epic journey to fulfil a lifelong ambition – to film the wall in its entirety from the air. He told the BBC's Anna Jones about this quest.
"The Great Wall is an amazing sight, and it deserves to be seen in its best light," says William from his home in Beijing.
Unable to shake his childhood fascination, he moved to China from Wallasey on Merseyside in 1986 "for the wall", and has since researched it extensively, writing several books and gaining an OBE for his work.
The wall most tourists see today is in places like Badaling or Jinshangling, an easy day trip from Beijing, where the stones and towers have been repeatedly restored, not always sympathetically.
"But there's more to the wall than that," says William, who trained as a geographer.
"Before the tourist wall that people flock to, there were many other ‘Great Walls of China'."
Sprawled across northern China and into Mongolia, the creation of these various walls spanned centuries and ruling dynasties. The oldest parts date back more than 2,000 years.
In some places towering stone and in others heaped-up earth, the walls have variously served as highways, defensive fortresses, a communication network and even a fence to contain migrating animals.
"Over the past 30 years I've been looking at all of these walls, as far as possible," says William. "My travels have taken me all over northern China, even as far as Mongolia."
In the 1990s, he and his wife, Wu Qi, bought a farmhouse at the foot of the wall, and would spend most weekends there exploring it.
Photography has always been important, says William, whether the images were "just beautiful or whether the architecture, the design features had a meaning that I wanted to explain in my writing".
But in 2016 his sons, Jim and Tommy, had a suggestion for seeing the wall in a whole new way, and began, as they put it, pestering him to buy them a drone.
"I was very concerned they'd come back from the first trip without the drone," says William. He eventually caved, and the results, coupled with some self-taught editing flair from his sons, have been "out of this world".
"Over the years, publishers and filmmakers have come to me and said, let's do the Great Wall from the air," he says.
"My typical reply was that unless you've got millions and millions of dollars, and high-level contacts with the government and the armed forces, who control the skies, then forget it.
"In this way drone technology is a godsend."
So armed with their drone and with a travel agency sponsor, the family spent a total of 60 days tracing the walls in 2016, celebrating William's 60th birthday and his 30th year of living in China "for the wall".
They began in July at the Old Dragon's Head, the point where the Ming dynasty-era Great Wall meets the sea in the east, and followed it westwards, branching off to explore the older Zhao wall, dating back to 300BC, then hundreds of kilometres further west, the Han dynasty wall.
That was followed in August by a flight to Ulan Bator in Mongolia, from where they camped in the wild while tracing what is marked on old maps as the Wall of Genghis Khan.
William calculates the entire journey to have been some 15,000km (9,320 miles) and says flying the drone over these remote areas gave a whole new perspective on the ruins.
"When you go to Mongolia, you find a wall that doesn't actually excite you. You can barely see it in the broad light of day.
"Very early in the morning, just before sundown, if you're lucky you get low angle sunlight, you can see the shadow of this structure not snaking, but streaking straight across the steppe."
But from the air it becomes "a phenomenal sight… with the empty steppeland, golden sunlight and the mound underlined by very very dark shadow".
"In my mind of all the shots that the boys took of the Great Wall from the air, that is the most surprising, because it just looks so amazing, the wall in that completely empty landscape, you feel as though you're on the very edge of Central Asia."
William is also clearly fascinated by the role the wall has played in the history of the Chinese people. Seeing it from the air, he says, helps an observer get in to the mind of its creators.
"We see the twists and turns, and we ask, why did it twist and turn there? Why did they route it along there, and not along there?"
"The land beside the wall where the builders established their camps, their villages, where they sourced all their building materials – I view this as the Great Wall's historical landscape."
Beyond the romance of travel and photography, this contrast of old and new underlines the other reason for their trip.
"There's a lot of hullabaloo always about how long the Great Wall is, and stories about the wall getting shorter because it's getting damaged," says William.
"So I'll be looking at the footage and, trying to work out how close things are getting to the wall.
"There are laws and regulations made in the last 10 years to protect the Great Wall landscape, and I'm going to be interested to see how the reality matches up."
Source: BBC

Clic here to read the story from its source.