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Published: November 16th 2010
Kashgar/Kashi in Xinjiang is one of the most colorful places in China.
The 2010 Summer Travels became my longest Journey in China, some 7,000 miles, and traced the "Old Silk Road". The train journey took me from Inner Mongolia, across the Province of Gansu and to the far West of Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China to the exotic city of Kashgar. From Kashgar, the Silk Road continued its tracks to the lands beyond China.
It has been months since my last TravelBlog entry, and for that I must apologize to all of you. My personal time this semester has been limited by the work with so many eager Chinese students, all wishing to spend extra time with me to practice their spoken English. But it is work and an experience I truly enjoy. My association and the interaction with my lovely students make me feel, that I can still make a difference to someone in my life.
My travels in China fill my heart with adventure, joy and excitement, but the association with my college and my students at Taizhou Teachers College provide the energy, fuel and satisfaction for my soul.
But sadly, the slow, limited and not so reliable computer-speed I am experiencing has been the more irritating problem these past months. Twice I have lost completed entries. These have taken me hundreds of hours research to prepare. Their loss have brought me to tears, and I fear, that publishing this limited version of these earlier, lost blogs may bring the same result.
So I am making another attempt, publishing this short and meager update of my past summer's (2010) travel
KASHGAR, PHOTO 1: The Id Kah Mosque is The Landmark Mosque of Kashgar.
The Id Kah Mosque, a grand Islamic structure and located in the center of the city of Kashgar, has a history of more than five hundred years. The entrance is actually the smallest part of the mosque, and most is hidden behind and among the trees.
experiences. These journeys have taken me some 7,000 miles, from the East Coast of China to the Far West of this huge and diverse country. (Later in the summer, I also had the fortune to visit South Korea.)
I wanted to make my 2010 summer China travels a special journey, following the routes of the Ancient Silk Road by train only, and making stops at the major junctions of the various connecting routes. International commerce, exotic trade, exotic customs and tradions, and various religions all came together at these important crossroads. Here, communities and cities developed in harmony, that have existed for thousands of years. The relics of these times, located all along these ancient trading routes have become some of China's most amazing treasures.
The railroad journey began in my city of Taizhou, Jiangsu and first took me to Beijing. From Beijing a train connected me to Chifeng, an eastern city of Inner Mongolia. Here I experienced the life of the Mongolian nomads and travelled to the beautiful, lush countryside and famous stone-forests of Inner Mongolia. A week later, the train-journey continued to the capital of Inner Mongolia, Hohhot, the home of the Great Khan.
KASHGAR, PHOTO 2: Evening Prayer Time at the Id Kah Mosque.
The interior of the Id Kah Mosque is already filled with thousands of faithful, each carrying their small and colorful prayer rug. (Actually some were disposable plastic pieces, and vendors made a brisk business.) Late-comers begin to fill the square surrounding the Mosque, and begin their prayers.
Hohhot it was a comfortable train-ride to Lanzhou, the capital of the province of Gansu. Lanzhou is a large city on the Yellow River, with a long history, greatly influenced by the Moslems. Among other cities, such a Xi'an, Lanzhou was one of the starting points of the Ancient Silk Road.
Time in any city or part of China is too short, and the next portion of the long train-journey took me from Lanzhou through the province of Gansu into Xinjiang. Here, my destination was the troubled capital city of Urumqi, Xinjiang, where Moslem influence surrounds everday life. The strong security presence on the streets of Urumqi continues to remind of the fragile interaction between the Moslem ethnic groups and the Han Chinese, and I saw only limited interaction between these groups. For any tourist or visitor, this city will remain one of China's unique esperiences.
My Summer 2010 train travel continued from Urumqi, and endet in the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar, Xinjiang. The city is also known as Kashi, in the southwest corner of Xinjinag. Kashgar/Kashi is one of the most fascinating cities I have ever visited.
The city is dotted with hundreds of
KASHGAR, PHOTO 3: Camel taking a rest in on the plaza surrounding the Id Kah Mosque....
Activities for tourists is limited during the times of prayer. Even the camel seems to imitate the faithful during times of prayer.
small and large Mosques, and is the home of some of China's greatest Moslem structures, mosques and monument. Walking the city of Kashgar, so rich in Moslem culture, traditions and customs, it is hard to imagine, that one is still in China. This wonderful and exotic city remains in my dreams and in my heart. My experiences in and around Kashgar were enhanced by my wonderful tour-guide, whose efforts made this part of my journey the highlight of my summer 2010. I will offer you more details in my next TravelBlog, with a focus on Kashgar.
In future TravelBlogs, I will continue to present each of my lengthy stops along the Summer Silk Road Journey, 2010 as individual entries.
As I stated earlier, 2 of the detailed entries were lost as they were published, most likely due to the slow speed of my computer connections, still a problems in parts of China, including my apartment. I hope, that with this TravelBlog entry, I can re-connect with you, and let you know, that all is well in my 5th year at Taizhou Teachers College.
Important Personal Note about the many Facebook request I have received:
*****Many still try
KASHGAR, PHOTO 3: Care-takers inside of the Id Kah Mosque
Father grooms his son for his important role within this historic mosque in Kashgar. They were most responsible for the wash-rooms of the mosque. Outside the washrooms, they display their love for their plants, inviting me to take a photo with them.
to connect with me on Facebook, or send friend requests on Facebook. You should be aware, that Facebook and You-tube are "blocked" in China. A national version of Facebook has been established for the Chinese. It only connects within China, and not to the outside world. It is not possible for anyone living in China, and sadly including myself, to establish an "International" connection through Facebook. And so, more personal contact in search of foreign friends for the youth of China is restricted. Please continue leaving your thoughts, comments, suggestions and questions on my TravelBlog, or please write directly to my e-mail: HSchneider101@gmail.com
Thank you for your patience, and your concern. Many have written to me, wondering what has happened to my TravelBlog entries. I will continue to publish future entries of my past travels in China, as time and computer conditions permit.
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