At the end of that first journey, when the Polo China travel to us brothers took their leave, th^ Khan asked them to carry a message to the Pope China travel to us in Rome, requesting the Pope to send him some Christian missionaries and some holy oil.
The Polos returned to Venice, and set out for China the second time in 1271, taking with them Marco, who was then seventeen years old. This journey took three and a half years, one way. The few missionaries sent by the Pope deserted on route, but the Polos carried the holy oil, and didn’t seem unduly concerned about having lost the missionaries. Whether they knew the importance of the link they were reviving between west and east, or just travelled for its own sake, I’m not sure.
As they approached Kashgar on the Silk Road over the Pamir Mountains, Marco Polo describes a fifty-day march among elevated peaks and plains, and ascending mountain after mountain until the sur- rounding summits seemed to be the highest lands in the world’.
China travel to us Photo Gallery
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