|Ran Zhuang, Underground Fortress, Hebei, China||Week 15 6th August 2011|
| While walking on the ancient road we'd heard the machinery
whine and seen the vague outline of cooling towers.
We are beginning to find the smog a bit oppressive. Apart from being a bit clearer after some rain its ever present. A feeling that there are things to be seen which can't be.
| Ran Zhuang dates from around 1937.
Its a fine example of "Tunnel Warfare". A resistance army response to the Japanese invasion.
The Japanese didn't get much further than this village.
| Apart from the military bit like HQ, arsenal, trips, kick
flips, reversing planks, reversing holes, two way tunnels, bayonet holes
and blindage there's also the living bits of stores, kitchen, lounge,
This is just a small room. We did find our way into a "turret" with holes for our rifles. Unphotographable from inside.
| Entry was free.
There was a museum at one of the entrances, some signs in English, but only arrows in the tunnels.
There were about 16 km of tunnels but we popped up after only a couple of km.
One of the exits we later saw was in the middle of someone's bed.
| We surfaced in the middle of the village.
Lots of people, souvenir sales (of plastic AK47s etc) and a couple of private museums.
One guy dressed in the uniform of the time spent a lot of time explaining he was the son of one of the soldiers that built the tunnels and had his photograph taken with lots of important people and for the sum of RMB 10 we could take his photo also.
We politely declined and he moved on to the next victims.
Further down the street we could also hire WWII Chinese Army uniform bits and pieces and have our photo taken in front of field guns.
| But his small museum did have this wooden wheel.
With a continuous band of iron for a tyre.
| We camped at the side of the road just outside the
village. The museum car park unfortunately closed at 5pm after being
cleared of vehicles.
The restaurant is almost opposite. They were happy for us to park. A dry river bed behind us.
The sheep were an optional extra and tidied up the grass for us.
| The restaurant had a bamboo pergola with a large crop of
It all looked like it would collapse under the weight, but hopefully not until after we'd eaten.
| And we had bread with our meal.
|Western Qing Tombs, Hebei, China||Week 16 7th August 2011|