After Ningxia Province, we still had about 2 more weeks of travel ahead of us... lots of planes... lots of trains... and lots of buses. And after a 3-day migraine that wouldn't go away, I decided to head back to Beijing by myself. It was the right decision for me. I think its important to stay true to who you are. "The more you know who you are and what you want, the less you let things upset you."
I was forced to be alone in Beijing by myself, and that was so great for me! I went out with friends, I took cabs, I rode the subway, I walked around the city alone. I went to the haggle markets, I sat in parks and read, I cooked my own food, and I went to the train station several times to buy train tickets for friends that don't speak any Mandarin. I also bought train tickets for this week, when the husband and I head to Shandong province for the Qingdao Beer Festival (I'm really going to see European-influenced Qingdao, and you know this South Florida girl needs a glimpse of the ocean... though I know it won't be anything like my beautiful beaches at home!).
So, even though I didn't continue on the amazing Silk Road trip, this IS a China blog and I still want to share some of the amazing pictures my husband took along the Old Silk Road. I really wanted to share the photos not only because of how wonderful they are, but because the geographic features of China are so diverse - as are China's minority groups - and I think these photos really show that. If anyone has any questions about logistics, recommendations, etc., let me know: I have access to my wonderful husband who would love nothing more than to talk about traveling around China with other people.
Turpan, Xinjiang Province. Turpan is one of the hottest cities in China, and is known for its grapes. Grape trellises are everywhere in the city, and help to keep it cool.
Jiaohe Ruins, just outside of Turpan
At the Sunday Market in Kashgar. Amazing that this is China, right? Many Muslims live in Xinjiang Province, and as you can tell, even their physical features are strikingly different from typical Han Chinese.
A look into Old Kashgar. I love this shot.... what a great photo my husband took!
The kids tie a watermelon shell to the end of this tape and swing it around as a game.
Along the Karakoram Highway, which connects China and Pakistan