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Special trip photos – Jiayuguan Fortress and Zhangye “Coloured Cliffs,” 2012/10

In early October we made a trip too Gansu Province to see the fortress at Jiayuguan, and the spectacular scenery of the Zhangye Danxia Landform.

The fortress at Jiayuguan was named as the First and Greatest Pass under Heaven during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1644, 1644-1911), and was one of the three main passes of the Ming Dynasty fortifications. (The other two are Juyuongguan, near Beijing, and the fort by the sea at Qinhuangdao.)

Jiayugaun is also the westernmost major fortification of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall.

The Danxia landform is located in the middle of Gansu province, in Zhangye's Linze county, and is an area of fantastic scenery—the photos don't quite do it justice!

Jiayuguan fortress, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

At the gate to the Jiayuguan fortress, a "Ming Dynasty soldier" is writing an entry permit (like a visa!) for visitors.

setting sun, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

We were standing outside of the west gate of the Jiayuguan Fortress, with the light of the setting sun on the walls.

West Gate of the Jiayuguan Fortress, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

Late afternoon light on the West Gate of the Jiayuguan Fortress.

Rouyuanmen, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

This gate is named Rouyuanmen, which is very difficult to translate!

The inner, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

The inner court of the Jiayuguan Fortress.

the Danxia landform, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

The fantastic colours of the Danxia landform.

the hills, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

Looking into the hills.

Another angle., Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

Another angle.

Beautiful landscape, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

Beautiful landscape.

The Danxia landform, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

The Danxia landform covers a huge area of land.

Ridges in the Danxia landform, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

Ridges in the Danxia landform.

Lines of colourful hills, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

Lines of colourful hills.

Some more colours., Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

Some more colours.

The colours in this area, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

The colours in this area were more muted

Some more colours., Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

Some more colours.

A ridge, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

A ridge in the distance.

through a valley, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

We hiked through a valley.

a tasty dessert, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

It looks a bit like a tasty dessert – maybe a jelly!

through the hills, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

We kept hiking through the hills.

a high point, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

We dimbed up to a high point for yet another perspective.

Interesting scenery, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

Interesting scenery.

a picnic lunch, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

We had a picnic lunch on a small ridge.

the Danxia landform, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

We continued on the valley trail through the Danxia landform.

A big red cliff, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

A big red cliff in the distance.

Hikers, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

Hikers enjoying the walk.

the interestingly-shaped hills, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

More of the interestingly-shaped hills.

something interesting, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

Gal has spotted something interesting.

flowers, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

Wild flowers in the valley.

grasshopper, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

This grasshopper is well camouflaged.

the coloured hills, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

We walked along the ridge, through the coloured hills.

a group photo, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

We stopped here for a group photo.

Closer shot, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

Closer shot of the group.

the peaks, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

Hiking up to one of the peaks.

Group photo on the ridge, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

Group photo on the ridge, with the famous hiking flag.

the narrow ridge, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

Hiking a long the narrow ridge, with bright colours behind.

Almost up to the top., Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

Almost up to the top.

in the hills, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

We were the only hiking group in the hills.

Walking along the hills, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

Walking along the hills.

Rills in the valley., Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

Rills in the valley.

These are furnaces, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

These are furnaces, built in 1958 during the Great Leap Forward.

More furnaces, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

More furnaces.

the Great Wall, Beijing Hikers Full Moon hike, April07, 2012

In the background is the "First Beacon Tower of the Great Wall", built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), near Jiayuguan.

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