During the expedition we will live to see a lot of adventures. Interested in how we live through this expedition and how we managed to succeed in our plans. Here you can read our daily adventures! Enjoy!
An impressive day at Dunhuang
When thinking of desert sand dunes, the first thing that will probably come up in your mind is the Sahara desert and the second thing is a blistering heat. Guess what, we are in Dunhuang China in front of 500 meter high sand dunes and it¡¯s snowing. Even better¡ we are freezing our butts of! We haven¡¯t been to the Sahara and only new sand dunes from pictures. The real thing is a thousand times better! As far as the eyes reaches we see rolling sand dunes. Yep, it¡¯s amazing and therefore we can understand why this is turned into a tourist attraction. Good thing about being this cold and late in the season is that we are the only ones there and that all touristy things like camel rides are closed!
We enjoy the views and then climb one of the hills. Due to a strong wind we are nearly blown of the steep stairs and have difficulties reaching the top. We are completely sand scrubbed as Elles puts it but when we finally reach the top we are provided with one of the best views of this journey. Sand dunes till the horizon and beautiful ridges carved by the wind! This is amazing!
The good part has to come. There are sleds available to surf down the hill. But as we found out, you probably need hot sand for this. We decide to run down the steep hill. Now this is even better! With huge jumps we run down just being able to control the speed. Well¡. Michel pushes his speed a bit too far and crashes near the bottom of the hill. Although hurting his arm he can¡¯t stop laughing! Cooool he shouts with a big smile. I just think he¡¯s crazy and take it easier! Then we have a look at the crescent moonlake and a pagoda which is built next to it. Even here it¡¯s quiet and nobody there! Perfect!
Back in town we have a quick lunch and then head towards the Mogao Caves. These caves are made by Monks and are also known as the thousand Buddha caves of Dunhuang. We couldn¡¯t bothered. We had seen the caves at Kuche and those were okay but not very special. Maybe we have seen too many Buddha¡¯s. But Jason sais it¡¯s one of the highlights of China and a definitely must see. We are cold and are looking forward to some warmth. So when we are asked to pay 80 Yuan each we joke if the caves have central heating. The lady behind the counter can¡¯t see the fun of it. We have to wait for an obligated tour as the tourguide is the one that opens the caves. We keep joking and fooling around but when we enter the first cave we are very very much impressed. Beautiful statues surrounded by gorgeous colourful murals depicting the life of Buddha. Wouw¡. Wouw is the only thing we can say. We have a good view because luckily michel brought the bright shining torch of the video camera. The guides torch doesn¡¯t seem to work very well. It is getting better, every cave we visit. When we enter one of the last caves michel looks inside and sees a drape. Cool he says¡ but when he walks further and looks up he is silent. I wonder what¡¯s up and walk up to him. Together we look up. A 34.5 meter high Buddha statue rises up in front of us in the cave. Never we have seen such a beauty before. The last cave we visit has a reclining Buddha that equals the one we just saw. 26 meters in length in its original colours with behind it the statues of all disciples of Buddha rivals his higher counterpart. We love it!
Very very much impressed we leave the caves. We are so impressed that we don¡¯t care that the adjacent museum already closed at 4.
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