This is a free day in Dunhuang, so we are taking it easy after breakfast at our lovely hotel.
Tali has decided to take a nap this morning, to recharge her strength, after an accident at our hotel in Yumen a couple of days ago resulted in her re-injuring her nose in the same place as last summer, when she broke it in a skateboarding fall. It’s painful for her, poor thing, but not serious enough to change our trip plans, as we believe that natural healing will occur in due course.
Later, we will walk around town to try and find the local museum, which is supposed to be quite good. We will also decide about going out to see the Mingsha Sand Dunes and Crescent Lake Park, possibly at sunset, though we’re not too keen on that, because it sounds a bit overly touristy, not to mention hot and sweaty!
After an overcast early morning, it has now become sunny and bright, and, of course, hot! Looking outside our tenth floor window, it’s easy to see why – gone are the mountains of the Hexi Corridor; here there is flat land, with, thanks to the wonders of irrigation, quite a few trees, and desert sand dunes just outside of the town center. We are on the outskirts of Xinjiang Province, the most perilous part of the journey for the ancient Silk Road travelers.
At about 3pm, we’re ready to brave the sun and heat, and explore more of the market areas of the town, as well as the local museum. We have managed to locate the local as well as the tourist markets, to sample the delicious local pita bread, topped with sesame seeds, but, alas, not to find the local museum. We have also found a couple of nice tea houses where we’ve been able to enjoy glasses of green and goji berry tea. The weather has returned to its early morning clouds, making it much less hot, and more enjoyable to walk around. The night market areas are huge in downtown Dunhuang – blocks and blocks of dried fruit and nut stalls and kitschy souvenir tables, bar-b-que places offering grilled fish, mutton, or vegetables, and several performance stages to boot. Loads of fun to walk around with a camera!
We have dinner with Jason at a small Korean restaurant that is family-run, and we have delicious vegetables with rice cooked in a stone pot, Korean style, along with powerful but tasty kimchee. After a brief walk to enjoy the happy and busy, neon-filled streets of Dunhuang, we return to the hotel – a lovely day!