China at that time was a part of the vast Mongol Empire ruled by the fears Kublai Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan. The emperor welcomed them to his court and Marco became his envoy which allowed him to freely explore faraway lands. Which he did!
Oh the miracles he had seen! Exotic, almost mythical animals, they call elephants and crocodiles. People using paper money to trade! People sending messages through a system they call – the post! Homes kept warm by burning coal! A whole new world opened up, right before Marco’s eyes! Through years of service he earned the Great Khan's trust and they became close friends. So when many years later Marco decided that it was time to go back to Europe, the Kahn was sad to let him go. The journey back proved to be a near death experience. Marco returned to Venice, robbed and tired, but with loads of stories to tell.
Soon after his return he took part in a naval battle near the island of Korčula in Croatia. In the battle, Marco was taken prisoner, and locked up in a cell on Korčula island. His cellmate, just by chance, was a writer - Rustichello. To pass time Marco had told him stories of his travels and the things he had seen. He started writing it down and a book was written – a book called „The Travels of Marco Polo“. Once out of prison, the book was printed and it became a bestseller. To this day it inspires travelers and trailblazers. After all Christopher Columbus had taken a copy of the book on his journey to America. Many didn't believe a word Marco said, people mocked his stories and called him a liar that had never set foot in China. On his deathbed upon being asked if it was all true Marco responded: I haven't told half of what I saw! Marco Polo is sitting here because he is allegedly the person who brought ice cream to Europe from China!