Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Short Stroll in Dunhuang.


After pretty much what was a full day's journey getting to Dunhuang from Jiayuguan, we all looked forward to stretching out legs for more than just a few minutes.  We all took some time to get ourselves settled into our rooms and then we all met back up in the lobby.  Cathy had given us a rough set of directions to walk in.  I think we were all a bit tired so we set out but I don't think we knew exactly which way to walk but we  knew we had to head towards the river and so we did.

As we passed a row of shops, we kept our eyes out for a place to have dinner.  Surprisingly, there weren't all that many options.



My first impressions of the area our hotel is located in is that it's quiet and the streets are very clean.  It was about a 10 minute walk to arrive at what I would describe as the commercial heart of the city.  I was immediately struck by how modern it is.  The buildings have a distinctive Chinese feel to the architecture but it was obvious they were all of recent construction.  The roads are in excellent condition and unlike Xi'an, the traffic was light.



When we first booked our trip, there were issues with getting accommodations at the 4 to 4.5 star level because Dunhuang was hosting a large exposition which I seem to recall officially ended yesterday but I'm guessing rooms are still booked because attendees are still in town.  In fact, we are suppose to be moving over to another hotel day, closer to the main downtown area, after tomorrow.



I have to say, I have been impressed with the country's effort to keep their environment clean.  Don't get me wrong, there are still some trashy places in China but I have been pleasantly surprised at the overall cleanliness of the places we've been to so far.

I like the slots for disposing of cigarette butts.

The city straddles the Danghe River.  For some reason, I had expected to see a muddy river - perhaps thinking it would be brown from silt or sand but it wasn't all brown.  I loved the way the road serves double duty as a bridge and as a water fountain.


Later as the sun set, the bridge lit up.


The color of the lights just didn't stay purple - they changed.  Sorry for the blurry video.


A small park ran alongside the river.  We decided that would be a good place to continue our stroll.


As the sun continued to set, the lights on the various buildings came on.  It made for a very pretty view.






It was just a very short walk but it was pleasant.  We'll have more opportunity in the days to come to see more of the city.  That should be fun.

Before it got really dark, we decided to seriously begin the hunt for a place for dinner.  Sadly, we came up empty handed I think in large part because we were just too lazy to keep walking around.  In the end, we settled for a fast food place....yes, fast food.....that was located just a few doors down from our hotel.  For me, it was an opportunity to have something other than noodles so I opted for a fried chicken sandwich.  I would not recommend eating a fried chicken sandwich in China unless you are really desperate.  It wasn't bad but it wasn't good either.  I just hoped that breakfast tomorrow would be better.


On the really short walk back to our hotel, we popped into a convenience store so Mal could buy more water.  She drinks A LOT of water which is really great for your health.  By the time we made it back to our hotel, it looked like the sheets had been changed and I was happy about that.  Tomorrow are are finally making it to the dunes!!

Goodnight from Dunhuang!