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Rea View Searching for warmth and calm

Train to Old Dali and Ancient Lijiang

CHINA | Monday, 19 November 2007 | Views [1501] | Comments [8]

We boarded the train in Guilin and followed the smooth rails west to the city of Kunming.  Well....lost right from the start!  Dang.  Lost in  Kunming again and again as we traversed the streets from dumpling stands to puppy markets to the wonderful museum full of Yunnan artifacts dating back to 475 BC and some even older!  Lost again - only a few street signs with English on them.  Two hours of circling before we pulled out the compass to guide us home! 

We headed west by train again to the end of the line at Old Dali (35 Yuan for a 350km train ride, that's four bucks!), where the sky is blue and the air is clear. The scenery along the way is beautiful verdant hills holding compact cute villages all neat and tidy.  Our train squeals like an elephant when she blows her horn.  Some of the tunnels are perhaps 2km long...tunnel after tunnel!  Dali is great with walking only streets of stone and mountain vistas.  We ascended the mountain by chairlift (tehee tehee...we're taking the easy trekking approach to things) for a cool stone pathway walk to a deep valley...very peaceful and the fresh air hopefully cleaned out the pollution that the rest of China drinks in daily. Yunnan province is the only part of China where someone with a respiratory problem or asthma could travel.  After birthday Bruce dinner and drinks (with our Basque friend Enyaki) and more beers with guitars in hands at a music jamming bar we headed home to a locked guesthouse!  Ahhhhh...there are curfews in China...yes yes.  A little gentle knocking roused a pyjama clad gal, lucky for us! 

Today we're in Lijiang.  We're about as close to Tibet as you can get, and the monasteries and Tibetans are amongst us now.  Huge minority populations exist in Yunnan, and the colourful dress of each group are absolutely beautiful (Naxi, Bai, Dhong, Maio, Tai and more).  Yulong mountain (5000m) stabs the sky and flanks this world heritage town.  We negotiated our way through an absolute maze of cobblestone walkways leading you astray every which way and lined by old tile roofed buildings packed together like tumbling lego.  What a web we wandered through to find a room...just impossible to not get lost in this town!  This ancient city is by far the most interesting city I've ever seen....beautiful, and flanked by a massive mountain! 

Tags: mountains



Hey Bruce, hope you had an awesome birthday! It sure sounds like it!!! China looks amazing : You both look so relaxed and happy! :)

  Barb Nov 20, 2007 1:38 AM


Happy BDay Bruce!!!
Love you both~ Keep these updates coming! They make my monday-office-mornings so much more bearable!


  karina Nov 20, 2007 2:14 AM


What a great way to spend your birthday! Love the photos and some great commentary in your journal, too.
Keep 'em coming!

  anne Nov 20, 2007 3:00 AM


Happy Birthday Bruce and isn't your anniversary coming up too? I am so jealous of you 2. Sounds like you're having an awesome adventure!

  Rhonda Nov 20, 2007 3:37 AM


Happy Birthday Brucy baby. I sure miss your words in the office .... F&%^$@#^ GTS piece of %%@#$#%$@ (()#()#$ )(*#$((Q (*(*#$(& *(&#(%$ %$#$@% *(#$((@ ()**)(#$ )()(*#)$@)

Hope you have a happy birthday, miss you living in our basement. We just bought a fold down couch in anticipation of your arrival.



  Fran Tarkington Nov 20, 2007 4:14 AM


Sounds like you are having a wonderful adventure. Shane got his card from you. The big party is Saturday, we will raise a glass and think of you.

  Rose Nov 20, 2007 1:07 PM


This is so awesome. I am glad Mary asked if I would do it. It is such an honor to see the pics and read your descriptions. I have printed it off for Mary and Harry and I am sure they loved it. Please take care. (I told Mary today, that I felt like a voyeur, watching somebody's dreams coming true)Happy journey!

  Brenda Loftus (for Harry and Mary) Nov 20, 2007 3:32 PM


Happy Birthday Bruce!
Glad to see your keeping your musical chops in shape. How strange to jam with those weird Chinese tonalities. I'm sure you'll have the scales down pat soon enough. Great pics as well.

  Jeff Nov 21, 2007 5:26 AM

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