Tianshui to Lanzhou

Our drive today was to Lanzhou. Setting off at 8.00am from our hotel in Tianshui, we arrived at the Water Curtain Caves which was about 10 kms off the motor way at about 10.00. We were able to get permission to take our cars up the narrow road close to the rock face where usually only the shuttle buses were able to go.IMG_8191

We then walked to view the attractions for a couple hours. The hillsides reminded us of the Olgas in Australia, although to different people in our group it reminded them of different things.

IMG_8202IMG_8134IMG_8123IMG_8101On one side of the valley was the Water Curtain Cave where many small Buddhist temples had been built. Climbing up, it was fascinating to explore the many different temples, all in use today. In the wet season the water cascades over the entry of the cave thus giving it its name.


On the other side of the valley the large statues of Buddha carved into the rock face were impressive.

On arrival in Lanzhou, we explored the local night market and found a wonderful Muslim restaurant. Pointing to what a group of young men were eating, we ordered two of the same. The restaurant was making their own large noodles and these were continually being rolled out, torn up and thrown into boiling water. Our meal was these noodles in a lamb broth with vegetables. It was absolutely wonderful and unknown to us when we ordered and ate it, it would cost us a total of 20 Yuan (4 dollars)

Posted in Vulcan on Tour

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Wine and more architecture

Wine and More Wine – OleBilbao OLD and NEW Monday dawned sunny and warm and we headed down to the Guggenheim Museum, even though it is closed we wanted to relish the slick titanium skin, contrasted against the smooth pale limestone blocks. Everything glistened in the bright morning sun, reflections of the curved surfaces bounced off the water surrounding the metal walls and the metallic sculptures in the forecourts around the Guggenheim. Did you know that every surface in the building is curved and there are no straight lines thus emphasising the organic flowing lines of this magnificent Frank Gehry masterpiece Tomorrow we’ll visit this amazing museum along with our Silk Road companions Pat and David who we are travelling with around Spain and Portugal in our trusty MGs. Hop on and off buses have always been a favourite and quick way of acquainting ourselves with a city. We cruised around the narrow streets enjoying the views from the top deck. We were diverted by police a few times into the back streets because of a rally of thousands of people marching along the main thoroughfare of the city. Red, white and Green flags and banners waving, fire crackers exploding, releasing clouds of smoke. How We hopped off a The Mercado de la Ribera one of the largest fresh food markets in Europe and we arrived just in time for some Pintxos which we enjoyed with a beer and Sangria. So many delicious sweet and savoury munchies to choose from – what a treat!

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