Wednesday, December 05, 2007


We came up over the edge of the Greenhouse Cliff this morning, rising out of the cloud layers like saltwater chucklefish rising out of the sea. The sky was filled with sunset. I'd almost forgotten what the sky looked like. Sheets and wisps of flaming orange and peach spread across the ocean-blue background in a ferocious, explosive, magnificent wave that would look completely unbelievable in any picture. Skies can't possibly be that incredibly bright.

This one was, though - and silhouetted against it was the dark, lamplit bulk of Jijangola.

Or, at least, the Galleria of Jijangola.

Same thing.

The Galleria is a massive, insanely intricate, palatial labyrinth of stonework that has been growing in Jijangola for almost two hundred years. The village's houses are long gone. They were in the way. The people live in the nooks and crannies and vaulted passages of the Galleria instead.

When we arrived, it was nearly dark (hence the sunset), and it started raining shortly after we reached ground level. The Jijangolans welcomed us into the Galleria, at least the ones who weren't too absorbed in working on it, and said vaguely that we were welcome to spend the night, or longer, they didn't really care as long as we didn't damage the decorations, and there was some food over that way somewhere if we were hungry.

There was indeed food over that way somewhere, in the form of half a dozen plumpkins on pedestals. They were in a domed room covered with tesselated fish mosaics.

We split one, then moved on into the Galleria...

I'll write more about that tomorrow, though. The wind up here makes it hard to write, and the postbird's getting impatient.

One more thing, though. The people of Jijangola have never taken the time to build a Train station - too busy building the Galleria - but the village is officially part of the Railway Regions. We've made it!

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