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I was posted in Almaty, (Kazakhstan) from 2001 to 2006. It's the summer of 2005 and with a group of friends we decided to go and spend a week in the Chinese region, Xinjiang, which has a common border with Kazakhstan. The trip sounded exciting! We arrived in Urumqi, the province capital, a huge modern town with skyscrapers and promising businesses.

The next day, after two hours drive through heavy rain, we reached Heavenly Lake. Hundreds of visitors were there with their little, multi pastel coloured Chinese umbrellas. It was a local show! After a good night sleep and a very satisfying breakfast (it will be the last) we caught the plane to the South. Hotan is situated between the Taklamakan desert and the Himalaya’s foothills. We encountered a huge contrast as we visited the famous Sunday market. It was like stepping back to the Middle Ages! An astonishing show! My eyes could not capture all the activities of this magical place. Old men dressed in their traditional outfit with long white beards, women in colourful dresses, children laughing and crying. Everybody gathering among cows, goats and sheep for sale, it was like an indescribable noise caused by very old crackling speakers?

Cont. below....

Original canvas size: 35 x 50 cm + margins for mounting

Between the butchers, tripes stalls, very basic restaurants and vegetable stalls, you could find find the famous silk scarves and fabrics with their multiple colours twinkling in the sun. Objects made of jade were available as well and are a pride of the region. All kinds of trades were represented there, knife sharpeners, tailors, repairs for everything and anything. Suddenly my attention got diverted by the sight of two little girls, one selling water melons the other one sitting on a wooden carriage, just smiling. With a lot of compassion, I captured their image, pleased to be introduced to them. It was only the beginning of the trip; hopefully I will meet you at another time to finish the journey!

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