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Travel Blogs from Jiayuguan
... to have the entire truck packed and in the road by 8 am. We began our day by driving into Zhangye to get a picture of the Marco Polo statue. Marco Polo supposedly lived in the town for one year. We then continued to drive through the Northern part of Gansu province to arrive near Jiayugan. Jiayugan is the symbolic end to the Great Wall. Here we went to visit the Jiayuguan Fort. The fort guards the pass between Qilian ...
... with heavy loads.
*We stop at a melon stall located in the middle of nowhere, curious to find out what it is that is drying in strips on lines strung across the back of their stall. It's melon flesh. Once sufficiently shrivelled, it is packed and sold in shops. The friendly couple manning the stall are good salespeople and we not only buy some dried melon to chew but also buy a large pot of their own farm produced honey. The wind blows strongly in this area and ...
The fortress at Jiayuguan was the defender of the empire from the Huns and just about everyone else. It was this pass that was closed when the Emperor wanted to shut down the Silk Road and it was through these gates that dissidents and criminals were expelled. The fort stands at the western end of the Hexi Corridor which is known as the Mouth of China, to enter China from the west you must enter through the pass and travel down the 'throat' ...
... we are in the Gobi desert. It is not totally desolate because the flat, yellow brown sandy soil has occasional scrubby plants, and dry shallow watercourses witness to the centimetre or so of rain that falls each year.
We pass wind farms, one with well over 1000 turbines, but they do not by any means dominate the landscape. Several parallel lines of pylons march silently beside us. Frank answers questions about the figures from Chinese history who were commemorated ...
... poetry of the time as the end of civilisation and the start of barbarian territory and exile. The Hexi corridor is at its narrowest here, just 9 kilometres between the Qilian Mountains to the south and the Mazong Shan to the north. In the earlier Tang era however, when China's reach extended west of the Pamirs, a system of walls and forts was built well beyond the Hexi corridor into the Taklamakan Desert and ended in the Lop Nor marshes. Their remains were surveyed ...