An airplane flies past during a partial solar eclipse in Almaty August 1, 2008.
JIAYUGUAN, China (Reuters) - Darkness fell over the last outpost of the Great Wall of China on Friday, where a rare total solar eclipse ended its journey across the earth, delighting skywatchers one week before the Olympics open in Beijing.
The stellar spectacle - when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth - began in Canada, tracked across Greenland and crept into Siberia, before ringing in the momentous month of August in China, when it will host the Games.
In northwest China, cheers went up from the Jiayuguan Fort as hordes of tourists welcomed the eclipse.
"It's really doubly special, because I'm standing here on the Great Wall and watching it," said Feng Lei, a backpacker from the China's southwestern province of Sichuan, who was making his way to Beijing for the Olympics.
Eclipses were considered dark omens by ancient Chinese astronomers but many Chinese view this one as particularly fortunate as it comes exactly a week before the torch is lit in Beijing for the opening ceremony of Games designed to restore China's pride and showcase its achievements.