Leaving Jiayuguan we took some shots of our hotel before heading to the train.|
River beds in the Gobi have had stone dams built to direct water under bridges, so there must be water sometimes.|
The elevated right-of-way for the high speed train across the Gobi is nearing completion.
The infrastructure in this seemingly remote area is amazing.
Along the way we saw high voltage transmission lines similar to those from James Bay in Quebec.|
And industry (coal mines?). And oases, farming in the middle of the Gobi!
The railway ties are concrete, even on the regular lines.
|Greenhouses, farm buildings, farm land, scrub bush, grape vines.|
|Lunch at a fancy hotel.|
Our hotel in Dunhuang had a fort-like exterior, but was quite lovely inside.|
|Sand dunes and camel rides are the claim to fame in Dunhuang. Most of our gang took the ride, although they are not identifiable in the photos. Marg and I have ridden camels before, so we opted to walk around to Crescent Lake. Desert boots were recommended, but mine had holes in them and they filled with sand.|
Crescent Lake and the adjacent pagoda was the walkers' destination.|
I guess the lake must be spring fed to keep it full in all that sand.
Plaques describe the tenacity of the Poplar tree and the Mr. Zuo Willow.|
The sand dunes are visible from the sun deck of our hotel.|
Breakfast on the deck gave a last view of the sand dunes|
before leaving to visit the Mogao caves.
|There was a small stream in the large river bed as we approached the entry to the caves.|
The caves are carved into the hillside, and contain thousands(?) of statues and paintings.|
An excellent local guide explained it all to us, but photos were not permitted.
The major Buddha temple was under renovation, but there were photos and we did get to see the inside.|
Amazing the way they carved holes into the side of the hill at various levels to carve out the huge Buddha.
|In town we had time to stroll around. One street was reserved for parking bicycles and scooters. Marg did some shopping in one of the stores. In the heat, we finally found a little shop to buy a sort of popsicle and sit for a bit (not shown).|
|The local market included all sorts of fruit, vegetables, raisins, nuts, live fish and chickens, and many tourist trinkets.|
There was a huge outdoor restaurant area, ready for the supper hour.|
Our gang gathered at the appointed time, to get supper and board the train for Turpan.
Xi'an, Terra Cotta Warriors
The New Orient Express
Jiayuguan & Jiuquan
Fengdu Ghost Town
Lesser Three Gorges
Three Gorges Dam, Disembark
Ode to Leo Liu