Our Silk Road

On this trip, we have done nothing but talk about the Silk Road, so it seems unwise to begin the final post of the trip by discussing how the Silk Road never really existed. But that is what I am going to do. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that the Silk …

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Osh – Ancient Glory and Modern Tragedy

Osh is a city of ancient glory and modern tragedy. Situated at one end of the Fergana Valley, a rich agricultural area that has long been one of the hubs of civilization in Central Asia and was a major node along the Silk Road, Osh has long attracted travelers to its markets. Solomon and Babur …

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Happy on the Silk Road

As we were traveling, Galen danced around in various places throughout Western China, using the Pharrell William’s song Happy as his dancing music. Some of the shots are done in hotels, an abandoned banqueting hall, on the interstate when our bus got stopped for thirty minutes because the road between Urumqi and Turpan was inexplicably …

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Tashkurgan Photos

Here are some of the photos that I was not able to squeeze into the blog.

Karakul’s Amazing Nightsky

Here are some of the amazing photos that Galen took during our night at Karakul Lake, beside the 25,000 foot Muztagh Ata Mountain.

Karakul Lake – Volleyball at the Edge of the World

We were far off the beaten path now. Where we were, Karakul Lake, we were as close to Beirut as we were to Beijing. We were fifteen miles from Tajikistan, fifty from Afghanistan. Our driver dropped us off at the lakeside and told us that he would probably be coming back in the afternoon the …

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Getting to Karakul Lake

In the farthest West of China After we found a driver, we milled around for half an hour, eating pilaf for lunch while we waited for the pick-up truck’s other passengers to gather. It was around eleven o’clock, Xinjiang Time, by the time we left. The redneck Chinese guy driving our pickup gathered several other …

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Uighur Luthier

Galen’s father is an amateur luthier, so Galen has a natural interest in stringed instruments and the people who make them. It was not surprising that, when Galen and I split off for ten minutes in the center of Kashgar’s old city, I found him trying out instruments in a Uighur luthier’s shop.

Warning: Graphic Sheep Death

I have mentioned that Kashgar is a Muslim city that is known for trading. I wanted to detail this encounter we had. Walking down a lane in Kashgar’s old city, Galen and I came upon a handful of men with a sheep on a rope leash. We watched as one of the men picked up …

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Kashgar – An End of the World

Kashgar. Something about that name rings of the end of the earth. Like Kathmandu or Patagonia, the city’s name is redolent of a wild and ancient greatness that leaves me wondering why it has not yet been appropriated as the name of a clothing company, as the other two names have. Kashgar is the epitome …

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