Breadsticks baked in the form of a turban were part of our breakfast spread. We can tell we’re no longer in the heart of China since varying forms of bread are creeping into the former domain of breakfast noodles.
Wind farms again lined our path. Many towers lay ready and waiting to be planted to expand the wind energy production.
Our short day had us to Urumqi well before noon. Since a hotel change meant that we didn’t have a destination way point, Larry and I wound up taking an unplanned tour of the city. Their U-turn method was new to us. Instead of U-turns being initiated from the left-hand lane, three lanes of forward traffic were to the left of the U-turn lane. It really makes sense to give a large turning radius for a U-turn.
We parked at the final given way point, that of a round about in front of a Kentucky Fried Chicken. Had we arrived at the RAB as directed by the route notes, we would have taken the indicated 2nd exit. With no clue as to where we actually had come from, we stopped to analyze the situation. No Sheraton in sight. We decided to get a cab to lead us. While I was digging out my sheet for the cabbie that gave the hotel name in Chinese, Alfred rolled up. He had come into town as directed and led us to the correct street. I then noticed the big Sheraton “S” logo and we quickly finished our ride.
Our room is luxurious with a lovely view of Urumqi, the farthest from an ocean of any city in the world. Next door, a mall with Burberry, Swaroski, Bally, Givenchy, Prada, Columbia, and many other luxury brands was topped by a food court. We selected what and how many noodles, veggies, and/or meats we wanted. The sumptuous stir fry concoction we chose was loaded with two types of mushrooms, spinach, and noodles with an unusual checkerboard texture.
A modern museum showcased the lives of the peoples of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. A full-size yurt, a nomadic house found in Mongolia and elsewhere, was set up with family and furnishings. Wood sole and silk top shoes looked as though they would be good at insulating the feet from the ground. Many musical instruments, including this horse head stringed unit were on display. Appearing to be inlaid with stone, one saddle looked to be too pretty to use.
Location sure can impact prices. At the grocery store, a half+ liter bottle of beer was on sale for $.30. In the Sheraton lobby, a medium size box of Corn Flakes was $13!!! We didn’t buy ANYTHING in this hotel lobby.
Several of us thanked Serena for her guide service with an evening of western food and imported beer at the Fubar, adjacent to a lovely city park. The Brits and others downed Guinness. Larry & I enjoyed Budvar from Czech Republic.
29 Jun Turpan to Urumqi 120 miles
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