Tuesday, December 11, 2007

On the Silk Road

Michael Yamashita's photoI just read a few days ago that the Olympic Torch will travel the ancient Silk Road, on its way to Beijing, going through 113 cities in China! Well, I have been here in China too long, or I have been reading too much about traveling through China (China Road, my favorite book or Marco Polo's Travels), or drinking too much Tsing Tao beer, because my immediate thought to the news was: "Wow, it would be so cool to follow the Torch for a few months, even if it means hard beds and food not always to my taste".
Traveling the Silk Road must be a fascinating thing. It will take you deep into interior China, all the way to its western border. In fact, the Silk roads (they were several trails) were already used in the times of the Romans and until the 15th century, when it became easier to travel by sea. The merchants were using it to transport silk - a mysterious Chinese invention - but also spices, porcelain, jade, gold, silver, wood and Arab horses. It is also the road Marco Polo took through China. Anyone out there with a photographer or journalist's job for me with the mandate of following the Olympic Torch through China?

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