Cycling The Silk Road In China – The streets of Kashgar
We arrived in Kashgar by the evening.
We checked into our hotel and went for a walk in the nearby bazaar and the surrounding streets.
The streets of Kashgar are a mixture of the old adobe neighborhoods, which are still charming, despite their dilapidated condition, mixed with the characterless new concrete buildings built with no attention to beauty or even comfort.
There is a major effort to encourage more Uyghur architecture around the old town, and you will see some fine examples of stone and brick work, decorating these traditional looking buildings.
Around the old Mosque, the narrow streets are filled with people selling fruit, baking bread, making all sorts of food, right on the busy sidewalks.
The majority of the fruit sold in this season, are mulberries, small apricots, melons, watermelons, cherries, and small mangos.
The bazaars in town, are geared towards the locals.
They sells silk scarves, a large selection of women’s clothing, fur hats and coats, nuts and dried fruit, and all sorts of household goods.
There are some stores selling silver and gold jewelry, antiques, tin work, wood workshops, ceramic and fabric.
There are shops filled with traditional hats from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakstan, and
This area gets externally sunny weather, as well as snowy winters with a very cold weather, and everyone wears hats.
The colors dazzle the eye…. and the sounds can confuse you… There are so many different sounds….. Bells, cries, distant music, animals, conversation, tools, hisses and hummus…. The scent is a real unique mix of spices, teas, grilled meat, fried fish, smoke, animal manure and aromatic foods…..
The women walking in the streets, are very fashion oriented, although it is not the modern comfort oriented Chinese style, in which everything goes, it is mostly Uyghur fashion, which includes fake Prada and Gucci sunglasses, a veil and modest dresses revealing shiny high heels.
The older ladies wear black long dresses, and keep their faces covered with a veil, that either show only the eyes, or covers their faces entirely, but still allows them to see through it.
It is quite a sight…. To come upon a narrow alley and to see these faceless, expressionless women walking towards you all covered in veils…