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Journey to the Lake of Heaven

By Bruce Connolly | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-10-11 07:39

Journey to the Lake of Heaven

Elderly man at Erdaoqiao 1996.[Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]

When not visiting the market, parks in autumn colors provided quiet relaxation. A walk up Hongshan (Red Hill) with its pagoda gave views across the city. Museums showed the relationship to the Silk Road, along with some mummified archaeological discoveries. Evening street food stalls offered a range of delicious food, from Sichuan to Dongbei and of course, Xinjiang specialties, including traditional spicy barbecued lamb on sticks!! There was no chance to go hungry!

It was National Day 1997 - but not the mass public holiday seen today. From the gates of Renmin Park buses headed to the Lake of Heaven. initially going through industrial and irrigated farmland to Fukang, before turning south and heading uphill. Very quickly the land changed from gravelly, semi-desert to green pastures and increasingly upland forest, through which streams and rivers descended. The road climbed steeply through a rocky gorge, although the lake could not be seen until walking beyond the coach park. Heading through the forest a breathtaking scene started to extend before me. Glimmering in the sunshine and enclosed by steep forested slopes, Tianchi stretched towards the foot of Bogda Feng.

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