Sunday, 31 March 2013

China Part II

March 6th 2013

We flew from Bishkek to Kashgar. back in China !!! As you know in November I had a very bad food poisining and now we are here for the second time . Our friends from the Pamir Youth Hostel cared for our bikes and luggage so great !
Now we had time to meet our friends, especially Ibrahim , our friendly truckdriver. In November he took us from the first checkpoint to the real border, which is 140 km far away. He is Uygur and  invited us to his house with his family. we had delicious food and he told us about the problems of the Uygurs, their customs and traditions. Especially his gift to us was a riddle :-) .

We send our bikes by train to Chengdu, so we were able to do sight-sightseeing. Distances in China are so big !!
We travelled by train 40h to Dunhuang, which is in the East. We had a sleeper, and it was quite comfortable. After the train arrived, we had to take a taxi for two hours. The driver opened the window while smoking and this was a desaster for Astrid. The next day she had a bad cold, high temperature and pain in her throat. The following three days she had to go to the local hospital to get infusions with antibiotics. Well, here in Dunhuang is the desert with big sanddunes and the Lake Sickle Moon. It it a natural spring and there is a monastery. We were able to visit it and we climbed up to the summit of a dune. What a great view !
Well, the whole area is a little bit like Disneyworld. You can go for riding camels, driving quads and 4wd cars, sand-buggies, sleding....  In high season there will be visitores up to 8000, per day !a former spiritually location now only for tourism...

A day later, we again went by train to the next destination. Jiayuguan, a bigger city with the westend of the Chinese Wall. We only had 7 hours there, because our train to Lanzhou departet in the evening.
The stuff of the counter was very friendly, they let us store our luggage in a locker, so it was much easier to walk to the fort. the Great Wall was build in this part of China to have a protection against the troops of Amir Timur (ca. 1400 a.C.), the national hero of Uzbekistan.

In Lanzhou we took a coach bus to Xiahe. It is a Tibetian city in the Chinese province of Gansu. Altitude 3500 m !  The Monastery of Labrang is one of the biggest outside of Tibet. Many of the 1000 monks lived in Tibet. Unfortunetly it is not possible for foreigners to visit Tibet, but we had a very good summary about the culture of the Tibetian monks.

the next stop was Langmusi, with a Monastery , too. the monks were , due to the low number of tourists, much more open-minded as in Xiahe. We told them about our trip by bicycle and, thanks to the  Chinese dictionary on my iphone , we had a very small conversation :-)
The next day we had time to climb up to a small pavilion and had a great view around the city. 

On March 26th, we went by bus/bus/taxi to Chengdu. A 12h-trip, which was very exhausting. From 3800m down to 500m. From very cold (esp. for me ) to very warm (esp. for Astrid.)
We collected our bikes from the train-station and we our now really happy that continueing our trip will starts soon !

The coming days we will stay here to visit the Panda breeding station and to extend our visa.

what are these two things ? solve the riddle :-)

Id-Kah Mosque in Kashgar

strange food, or medecine ?

carousel...  education for peace :/

Kashgar with permanent observation

Dunhuang, Crescent Moon Lake

Fortress at the Great Chinese Wall

monks in Xiahe

it is made of butter


on the summit (Langmusi)

promotional campaign in Chengdu

we collected our bikes and luggage from the train station in Chengdu

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