Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Silk Road

Urumqi, Turpan and Dunhuang: Three cities on the "Silk Road" which I got to see because one of the teachers leading a tenth grade "cultural immersion" trip go injured. They needed a last minute replacement. Who was I to say no? I did forget that taking care of teenagers is sometimes like herding cats.

I suggest you research each of the three cities to learn more of the vast culture of China. I figured all of China had that chinese look. Not to be. The area of Umumqi is the home of the Uyghur (weeger) people, who have a mongolian heritage and have a Turkish look: Dark, swarthy complexsion, sharp angular features and little did I know: a Muslim area.

A very busy five days with a lot of time traveling, including an overnight in a hard sleeper car: 30 bunks arranged in cubes of six with 3 bunks (lower, middle, upper) on the sides of each cube. You're right: I now know what sleeping in a submarine must have been like. Wish I could have taken pics of people getting in and out of the top bunk!!!

What the kids and I got to do during the five days:
Uigur Singing and Dancing Workshop
Erdaoqiao Market Shopping
Buffet Dinner with Uiger Singing and Dancing
Xinjian History Museum (With a host of mummies)
KFC: Yah..I didn't figure how this was a cultural experience. On 2nd thought it was and not a pleasant one. don't want to know what the chicken looked like. Then wasn't mutton.
Turpan Chinese Dinner
Sugong Pagoda
Karez Irrigation System (Look it up. Fascinating)
Jiaohe Ancient City
Overnight Train Trip
Sand Dunes: The fun part. Believe it or not many of these internationally traveled kids had never seen a camel up close and personal.
Magoa Caves (Incredible 90 feet Bhuddas carved out of stone. Only took 29 years)

A great trip in spite of about a seven hour delay on China Southern airlines. Gee, I felt just like I was flying in or out of Chicago!!!


Foo said...

Sounds like you had a great trip, and I continue to enjoy experiencing your adventures through your camera's lens.

I can't help feeling the first one looks like a giant terra cotta shuttlecock, however.

Foo said...

P.S. - I love the mezzanine or whatever it is in the last picture. It reminds me of something Frank Lloyd Wright would have done if his Prairie Style was influenced by Asian prairie.