Two Brothers Walk the Great Wall of China End-to-End

Updated September 16, 2022.

My grandfather, Dr. William Edgar Geil, walked the entire length of China’s Great Wall in 1908. He is first person ever documented to have done so. He photographed his journey using the technology of his time. The images are on large heavy glass slides viewed with a special lantern. I’ve documented my grandfather’s story — which still continues over a century later — on my website.

In 1987, William Lindesay traced my grandfather’s steps. He documented his journey in photographs as well, often depicting the same scenes and areas showing how they appeared almost 80 years after my grandfather photographed them.

My grandfather appears on the left, William Lindesay on the right.
(Pictures courtesy of William Lindesay.)

Now today, William’s sons, James and Tommy, are taking their turn. They set out several weeks ago at the far western end of the Great Wall and are walking east. It’s no small feat walking across practically the entire country, often under hot and ardous conditions. They’re aided by a support team that includes our friend, Piao Tie Jun. This time the journey across the Great Wall is being documented on video as well as in photographs. James & Tommy have posted three video episodes so far, with more to follow.

These are the first three videos released to date. Bookmark this post and return from time to time as I will add subsequent episodes in an Addendum. This journey will take a while!


Bookmark this post. Subsequent episodes will be posted here as they are released. You can also visit the brothers’ YouTube channel, Twitter and Instagram.

Title image is a screenshot from Episode 1 of 2 Brothers Great Wall.

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