Jiayuguan Great Wall Hotel
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TeAt 6:30 the alarm on my cellphone rings, and it feels like I am back home and have to go to work. Fortunately (sorry, boss) there is another reason Xiao Wu will pick us up at 7:30 with his car, and we will travel together. Very curious how that will work out. At 7:45 I am standing on the sidewalk of the busy street of our hotel, but no Xiao Wu anywhere. It's interesting to see the town wake up. Lots of cars and buses. Amidst the dozens ...
That was a dreadful sleep. I was underdressed as another T-shirt and heavier socks would have helped. The booze consumption and cold temperature [aboving freezing by several degrees I suspect] meant three slashes: open tent zippers, wang outside and remember to exit via R side of tent door. Throw in the need for a more pronounced bodily function before 0400, a cold nose and no real pillow for a truly awful sleep. I need java.
Put the tent down in the ...
... of a network that could relay information along the wall back to Beijing. Supposedly signals would take 6 hours to travel 1000km, with a beacon made of animal fat to be used in the day (for smoke) and pitch to be used at night (for flames). An odd tourist village has sprung up around the tower - containing a zip wire and rope bridge across the canyon as well as an eclectic collection of irrelevant museum exhibits, however these haven't quite ruined it and make it a ...
Jiayuguan Fort. Well, there was $20 that would have been better spent on 24 bottles of Tsingtao.I had been really looking forward to my penultimate Silk Road City. I wasn't expecting much from the city itself, knowing it is fairly new, bland, and lacking in anything of interest or atmosphere. But all those centuries ago, it was a significant stop for Silk ...
Waking up at 5.30 in the train is not so pleasant but we are rewarded by a beautiful sunrise over a flat desert backed by the snow-capped mountains of the 5-6,000 metre Qilian Shan. Jiayuguan is completely new city, built in the 1950s to service a new steel plant and the nearby satellite launch facility - sadly strictly off limits to us, but a lot of our fellow passengers disembark there.
Jiayuguan is the westernmost point of the Ming Great Wall - it is commemorated ...