Well, it sprinkled a bit a couple of times.
My expectations were raised slightly when I viewed this world heritage site out of the airplane window on our approach to Beijing. The day of our visit produced mixed weather from warm and sunny to dull grey skies that occasionally spit a few tiny drops on us. Somebody approaching Beijing that day would not have seen the wall from the air. Pity.
The amount of time that a typical tour group spends at the Great Wall is somewhere between two and three hours. That's long enough to gain some understanding of the immensity of the project, especially given the era of its construction.
Walking the wall and climbing the stairs left me with an idea of how fit a Chinese soldier would have to be in those days- not to mention how unfit I seemed to be. The frustrating thing was watching folks in their 70s and 80s striding past and making their way all the way to the top of the ridge. I didn't even make it halfway.
Still, it is a privilege to be able to say that I've stood on the Great Wall of China. I know a few other people who have done so, but the vast majority of people will never go there in person. It's a shame we are not more travel and history oriented. If I had the resources, I'd be almost permanently out of town!