It’s slow, it’s tiresome, and it doesn’t even pay any money – walking is often overrated.
But what else could I do?
Maybe I should have chosen a career in steel production:
But since I couldn’t handle the heavy drinking during the breaks…
…and also because I was only willing to accept a position where I could boss everyone else around…
…I just wasn’t too fit for the job.
Besides, I don’t know anything about physics/chemistry/steel/production/work in general.
So I did what I had been doing for the last eight months – sightseeing:
This is a temple within the grounds of the famous Hanging Great Wall 悬壁长城 northwest of the city:
I still don’t really understand why this is referred to as a “hanging” wall:
It didn’t seem to be hanging at all.
In fact, it rather looked a lot like the Great Wall in the eastern parts of the country (achromatic – again).
Also, I figured that this particular section must have undergone some heavy remodeling during the past few decades:
It just seemed too different from the rest of the Wall in the area:
Today, we walked all the way to the Fort from the north – the opposite direction as two days before (the cry train):
We kept on one side of the Wall until we almost ran into an army camp, complete with trucks and tanks and everything.
So we had to turn back and make a detour around, since we didn’t want to get into any trouble.
Besides this little incident, walking along the Wall was very nice:
What must Marco Polo have felt when he passed through here? I wondered, but then it dawned on me: the great caravans of the Silk Road never set eyes on these fortifications! The wall in its present form was constructed during the Ming-dynasty, when the first naval connections had already been established between Europe and China.
I’ve also been thinking: it must have been mainly these two factors – the discovery of the naval routes and the isolationism of the Chinese empire during the Ming-dynasty – that eventually led to the economic decline of these Western Territories – areas that once used to be so full of splendor and have now fallen way behind the booming urbanism of the east coast.
There is this massive and beautiful Jiayuguan Fort 嘉峪关城楼, erected some time around 1372 to seal off the Hexi Corridor to the west:
Was it eventually just another nail in the coffin of the Western Territories?
We got there at seven, and there was virtually nobody around anymore:
I really wondered why they even sold us tickets, since the staff had already gone home:
It was very nice though; no tourists in hideous outdoor wear (guy in blue, girl in red) to spoil our pictures!
We just strolled around and enjoyed the beautiful sunset:
At some point a dude appeared and called us out:
So we slowly went to the exit – while taking our time, and more pictures on the way:
It felt good sharing these beautiful moments with my little brother.
“I’ve seen better.”