niniane: belle face (Default)
So, I've decided that it's time to make a life long dream a reality and travel the silk road from one end to the other, starting at Beijing and ending at Xi'An. Plane tickets are booked and I've put in my inquiries for train tickets. (Essentially the only good way to book train tickets in China is to put in an inquiry - and pay! - online, then hope that the tickets are available when the in-China reservation agent goes to the train station to get them. They'll then send you the confirmation code, which you can use to pick up the tickets at the station. It's a bit round about, but I guess it works, and it's only $5/ticket, It can still be frustrating, though, as some of the time I book one ticket, but then end up with a different one and whatnot.)

Anyway, this is what I *think* I'll be doing...

10/2 - fly out of Seattle at 17:00. Arrive in Beijing at 19:50 on 10/3.

10/3 - limp to hotel room. Sleep the sleep of the dead.

10/4 - Explore Beijing while contemplating jet lag. I'll likely return to the Forbidden City (as it's awesome), or maybe will check out a museum. (I don't want to go too far out of my way as will likely be a zombie)

10/5 - Take the 8:05 train to Xi'An. Arrive at 13:45. Maybe check out the old city wall + Bell and Drum tower that evening. (Maybe the Great Mosque too) - NOTE: Train confirmed!!!!! ^_^

10/6 - Check out Terracotta warriors! (I've seen before and are well worth!) Probably also check out the Shaanxi museum and forest of Stelae

10/7 - Another long day - maybe wander off to one of the museums or more likely, Huaqing Hot springs. (Alternate idea : view the Banpo museum!) Re-appear in the late evening as I'm taking the 00:05 train out.

10/8 - 00:05 train to Lanzhou. Arrive around 8:05 am. Probably explore Lanzhou a bit. (Need to figure out cool stuff to do.)

10/9 - Buddha river trip!!! (

10/10 - Need to figure out what to do in Lanzhou. Maiji caves seem promising. (  Or possibly make it to the Gansu museum. (If it is open)

10/11 - 10:45 - 15:23 trip to Jiayuguan. Probably just check out the city, check in, and run errands in the afternoon.

10/12 - Check out old fortress and pass

10/13 - Possibly make it to the overhanging wall and/or the first fire tower. Another really awesome possibility would be the Weijin tomb murals. (

10/14 - Train to Dunhuang. Leave 13:44 arrive 18:15

10/15 - Mogao grottos

10/16 Crescent Lake, echoing Sand Hills 19:18 - 7:35 - Train to Turpan (Or vice versa depending on whether we can get the grotto tickets)

10/17 - Arrive Turpan bright and early.  Check out the Karez system ( and maybe a museum

10/18 - Turpan Check out the flaming mountain and Grape Gorge ( and Gaochang ( and and

10/19 - Turpan - check out

10/20 - 10:03 - 20:33 - train to Aksu

10/21 - Aksu - Check out mosque. It's a bit far from anything else - mostly just relaxing here so that it's a bit less horrible getting to Kashgar.

10/22 - 10:34 - 17:11 train to Kashgar

10/23 - Kashgar - Abakh Khoja Tomb and Id Kah Mosque as well as Kashgar old town and  Apak Hoja Tomb.

10/24 - Kashgar - probably try to  make it out to Karakul lake

10/25 - Kashgar - Dawakun Desert?

10/26 - Kashgar - Maybe the Stone city, or maybe just hang out

10/27 - 16:25 - 22:50 - Return flight to Beijing

10/28 - Beijing - Summer palace and/or great wall

10/29 - Beijing - Panjiayuan Flea Market

10/30 - 11:55 - 8:14 flight back to Seattle

niniane: belle face (belle face)
Anyhow, have moved to Dreamwidth since it feels about time. I'm Mutive over there (in case anyone cares - I'm guessing not, but hey!)

Anyway, back to the vacation posting! Next on the cruise ship itinerary was St. Kitts and Nevis, a part of the British Empire. It was apparently found by Christopher Columbus, who gave Nevis its name because the clouds on the top of the island looked like snow. (St. Kitts I think is a touch more easily explained!) At least this is one version. There are also stories about how it was named after a "miraculous" snow in Rome attributed to Nuestra Senora de Nieves. So, yeah, whatever. It means snow even though the place is about as un-snowy as it gets.

Anyway, St. Kitts is known for a few things - it's gorgeous beaches, its medical schools, and it's UNESCO heritage monument, Brimstone Fortress. We were to see two of the three. (We did pass by the medical schools, which are used primarily by the US to train doctors who couldn't get into US schools. Clever. I'm thinking this might be a great place to retire...wonderful tropical environment + LOTS of doctors and nurses!)

Although St. Kitts and Nevis are former sugar colony islands, sugar is no longer grown there. (As our taxi driver pointed out, sugar cane growing is HARD work and you know what there are in St. Kitts and Nevis? Better jobs in training doctors and tourism.) But it's definitely part of the history, as we shall see at Brimstone Fortress.

See more after cut, yadda yadda )


niniane: belle face (Default)

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