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2015年10月1日 星期四

From Place to Place (由地方至地方)

There are a million and one things we may complain about our civilization. But there is one thing we can hardly complain about. We can now hop from place to place in the space of one third of a day. That's how I felt as I moved from Hong Kong to Shenzhen (深圳) then to Chengdu (成都) in Sichuan (四川) and then to Urumchi(烏魯木齊) of Xinjiang (新彊), all within about 8 hours. It's part of my photo-trek to some of the most beautiful places in that far away place about which I knew hardly anything except that it was where we had the best Hami melons (哈密瓜) and fine white grapes (白葡萄). 



 This is the first place I went to when I reached the new Shenzhen Airport(深圳機場).



  
It was a new airport with a very contemporary look


The ceiling makes full use of lighting and repetitive geometric patterns.

 
It felt as if one were traveling into the future.



 Within an hour of so, I was amongst snow capped mountains.


There were glaciers
 

and sharp knife edge ridges.
.
  
The snow-topped mountains continue for miles and miles.
 

From time to time, one finds rivers in desolate valleys buried amongst screes,


where the freezing ice cold water is still far from warm enough to support any form of life.



The snow capped mountain ranges seem interminable.



one ridge after another ridge, one range after another


but the further into the valleys, the wider they get.

After the ice, it was desert country.

Then it was snowy mountains again
.
  
I never saw so many mountains before.


For the first time, I felt the immensity that is China.


The mountains seem so high, yet so desolate.

I was so glad the plane flew over a city



But after that, it was desert mountains again



without the slightest sign of any human habitation but sometimes with red strips from the presence of iron

  
until we reached Urumchi, the capital of the Xinjiang-Uyghur  Autonomous Region


It has a modern looking airport.


shaped  like a giant bird taking flight. It seems that everything is new in China today.


I was struck by this advertisement featuring a Hong Kong movie star posing for some real estate developer.
 

Another huge ad sign is promoting some Xinjiang style rice wine.


a third one urges us to see some folk dances: the lady is dressed like a Middle Eastern lady with shawl and jewels.

Immediately after disembarkation, we were told to go to a supermarket to stock up biscuits, honey, fruits because such much items would become more and more expensive the further north we go.
 

Kiwi fruit for vitamin C.

  
peaches for water


apples for health.

More peaches


I asked the lady behind the meat counter what this brown brick stuffs were and was told that it was curdled cow's blood!


 
These are sea weeds. We'd have plenty of sea-weed soups in the coming days. 


I don't know what this is. It looks like cheese is but is not. 


Some frozen mackerels



Blue fish


And wines  


More wines. What would men do without drinks!



This is the supermarket we shopped in. Before we entered and left it, we had to pass through a metal detecting frame, like the kind we have to walk past at the airport.

 
Next to the supermarket is a drug store 

 
Next is a store selling "desert flowers", the kind I saw in Tunisia


 A road side stall selling piping hot barbecued lamb chops.


A father with a jug for washing the hand of his kid in front of another store.


A local restaurant selling a guard's noodle and Xinjiang style stuffed mutton pizza.


A street hawker selling grapes. I tasted it. Sweet, juicy and with rich grape-like flavor but with seeds.


Is this a joke?
 

The note says: exquisite motor!



Time for lunch and some local beer: not bad at 15 Yuans



Our first meal: buns, chicken with chilli, fried egg and tomatoes, sauteed lamb with onion, sauteed egg plant and bean curds with vegetable. We were to learn soon that that would our standard diet no matter where we go for the next 11 days.



We stayed at the Hilton, said to be best in Urumchi


a metal sculpture at the lobby


ceiling and side wall lights


A wall decoration: just line, lights and shadows


Floral screen


Xinjiang style pot


a local clay pot above the cushions on a settee


The typical divan of the Uyghurs (維吾爾族), the most numerous minority in Xinjiang


decorations at one of the function rooms


reflections on the smooth marble floor. 


All kinds of melons and big fruit; Xinjiang is a well known fruit basket


traditional Chinese ritual "ting" in celebration of the newly opened hotel.


The exterior of the hotel