The Travels Of Marco Polo – Journey To China And Back
The story of Marco Polo’s travel to China is as interesting as it is unbelievable. How the entire chain of events transpired to get this amazing person a chance to explore the world is simple astounding.
The story goes like this..
Young Marco used to live in Venice while his father and uncle - Niccolo and Maffeo Polo – two extremely successful and wealthy jewellery merchants used to travel the world for their trades. One of their journeys took them to the court of Kublai Khan, the grandson of the great Genghis Khan who had singlehandedly conquered all of Northeast Asia. Kublai Khan was a well known Mongol leader himself who was deeply interested in learning about Christianity. So when the Polo brothers knocked on his doors, we welcomed them gladly and on their return journey, he requested them to come back with 100 priests and a collection of holy water.
This request if what initiated the travels of Marco Polo.
The young boy’s father decided upon taking him along on the journey this time. Marco’s route was to pass through lands where the terrain was often treacherous and taxing. The priests who had consented to join the expedition got cold feet in just a few days and turned back. But young Marco wasn’t deterred by the trials of the journey. In fact he was quite the adventurer himself and revelled in every challenge that came his way.
As they made their way through the Middle East, Marco absorbed its sights and smells. By the time he reached Afghanistan, he was taken ill by something he had contracted on the journey. But even this didn’t shake him away from reaching his goal. He simply took a few days and retreated to the mountains in order to recuperate. The Gobi desert proved to be another challenge. To quote Marco’s own words - This desert is reported to be so long that it would take a year to go from end to end. And at the narrowest point it takes a month to cross it. It consists entirely of mountains and sands and valleys. There is nothing at all to eat."
But nothing stopped Marco in his tracks.
It took nearly four years of continuous travelling to reach China and Kublai Khan’s summer palace in Xanadu. The palace itself was an amazing architectural wonder. But the journey to this place was where the actual amazement lay. Marco Polo’s travels became the first ever window for the western world to understand and experience the East, its geography, culture and people. The best part was that Polo’s memory was extremely sharp which meant that his accounts of the journey were accurate and completely factual. Later on, many academics and researchers were able to prove the authenticity and accuracy of his travel writing. These works inspired a host of people to take up exploration and begin to look at the world through new eyes!
If you need more accurate information and interesting facts about Marco Polo, just visit the website TheStepsOfPolo.org.
About The Author
Sheena Timberlake is an expert historian who has studied the life and travels of Marco Polo in great detail. She likes to write many interesting articles and blogs on the topic and recommends TheStepsOfPolo.org as the most trustworthy website to find accurate information about the traveller.
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