After 9 years of unremitting work, Alexandra, who never stopped writing, returned to China at the beginning of 1937 with Yongden. She was 69 years old and because of her old age, she didn’t thing she had much more time to commit to her travels… she wanted to make the most of the trip. Alexandra equiped herself with modernised cameras and left for several months.
However, the war between China and Japan was declared, followed by the civil war, and, in 1939, the beginning of the second world war . As a consequence, they stayed trapped in China and on the Tibetan border for 9 years. They lost their luggage but, in spite of the difficulties, continued to write several books during the bombardments, conditions of extreme cold, starvation and epidemics.
In 1941 Alexandra learned of the death, in France, of her husband and best friend : Philippe Néel with whom she never stopped corresponding.