back to the deep place

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Today, we got in a car and went to Turpan in the South. It felt weird to be going 100 km/h in those places where I had been silently walking and suffering almost exactly two years ago.

Anyway, today it was all about sightseeing!

We visited the famous Grape Valley 葡萄沟:

Grape Valley

This is a totally commercialized area, where you can wander in the shade of the grape vines…

grapes

…and maybe pick a grape or two:

bunch of grapes

I enjoyed the signage:

taste the spot

Then we went to Jiaohe City Ruins 交河故城:

Jiaohe City Ruins

This place is about as old as the neighboring city ruins of (Gaochang).

I found it a bit bigger though:

ruins

Apart from that, the two were remarkably similar.

Here too, the Buddhist statues had suffered quite a bit…

niches

…and most buildings consisted of earth or clay that was slowly withering away:

ruin scene

Their basements were pleasantly cool though, which was pretty nice:

inside the ruins

Then we visited the Karez 坎儿井. This is an ancient irrigation system which was designed around subterranean canals to transport fresh water from the mountains to the lowlands:

karez irrigation system

There are roughly one thousand of these irrigation systems in the area, and while many of them have already been deserted or silted up, this one in Turpan had been made into a tourist attraction.

Obviously, it was pretty dark and moist down there in the canal, and in the associated museum it was all about complicated drawings and maps to illustrate the wonders of ancient engineering.

I liked the upstairs better:

karez park

And of course, the grapes.



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