Photo of the Week
Silk Road 6-week
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    [post_date] => 2014-08-03 14:45:22
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    [post_content] => I think it's safe to say that I speak for all your families and friends that we are glad you've arrived safely. We are proud of your adaptability and zest for new adventures. Savor your last days (and we love you;)
    [post_title] => proud
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Silk Road 6-week

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proud

Victoria Rusnak,Silk Road 6-week

Description

I think it’s safe to say that I speak for all your families and friends that we are glad you’ve arrived safely. We are proud of your adaptability and zest for new adventures. Savor your last days (and we love you;)

Posted On

08/3/14

Author

Victoria Rusnak

Category

Silk Road 6-week

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2014-08-03 11:17:14
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-08-03 17:17:14
    [post_content] => 早上好!!

Good Morning All!

We've arrived back in Beijing after a day of travel from Kashgar.  It was funny and interesting re-covering, by air, the distance we crossed previously, entirely by land.

"Eight hours in an airport ain't nuttin'," was a phrase oft repeated.  We've become hardy travelers in the last five weeks!

In the morning, students will lead us to our hostel for the remaining evenings of our trip and then to the Summer Palace, Silk Market and Beijing 2008 Olympic sites after dinner.

New plans present new opportunity.

Best,

Tim, Anne and George
    [post_title] => Happy and Resting in Beijing!
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Silk Road 6-week

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Happy and Resting in Beijing!

I-Team,Silk Road 6-week

Description

早上好!! Good Morning All! We’ve arrived back in Beijing after a day of travel from Kashgar.  It was funny and interesting re-covering, by air, the distance we crossed previously, entirely by land. “Eight hours in an airport ain’t nuttin’,” was a phrase oft repeated.  We’ve become hardy travelers in the last five weeks! In the […]

Posted On

08/3/14

Author

I-Team

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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    [post_date] => 2014-08-03 11:13:26
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    [post_content] => Yesterday, we descended the train from Urumqi for the first time in 24 hours and looked around at our last destination on the trip: Kashgar. From the station we took a long bus ride literally crammed with Uyghur people, including old men with impressive white beards, not to mention a couple women casually sporting mustaches. After passing an enormous statue of Chairman Mao and the "Old Town" (a cluster of abandoned mud buildings) we reached our stop. After getting lost in a maze of alleyways, we finally made it to the hostel.

Our first trip outside was to try to get food. This proved to be quite difficult, as it was the last day of the Muslim holiday Ramadan, which meant all the Uyghurs were fasting until sundown that night. This also meant everyone was scrambling to prepare a huge feast to celebrate the end of the exhausting yet essential fast. Torrents of motorcycles speed by on the street, as pedestrians casually walk by and avoid them. I wandered around in a sort of daze, trying to absorb the tremendous amount of stimuli my senses were bombarded with. Everywhere you walk you hear honking intermingled with the sounds of street peddlers yelling in Uyghur. Women call after their children as said children run about with no pants on, if any clothes at all. Vendors sell fruit, biscuits and mostly piles and piles of the local naan bread, while knife-makers sit in the shade and send out gusts of sparks as they sharpen their blades. Storefronts boast signs saying something like "Original Uyghur Copper Antique Necessity". Every few yards, butchers stand beside racks of sheep carcasses hanging from meat hooks, while right nearby someone else slaughters the sheep and drains the blood from their slit throats into buckets right on the street. Walk a few yards more and you'll see the hapless sheep being skinned, it's organs strewn about on the side of the road. In the middle of this surreal daze, a local will grab you by the arm, smile while exclaiming in a heavy accent "America!!", only to continue speaking to you a mile a minute in their native language. You uselessly explain you have no idea what they're saying, and keep trudging onwards. As you walk, you can't help but feel like a fish swimming upstream against a river of motorcycles, sometimes turning around to swim with the stream. All the while the sun is beating down at over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, making things hazy to say the least.

A sea of motorcycles and people, foreign faces and languages, the aroma of fresh bread mixed with the sharp smell of fresh meat, naked children scampering about, carts of livestock, the occasional organ lying on the sidewalk. Needless to say, it's a lot to take in.

-Henry
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Silk Road 6-week

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Kashgar

Henry Case,Silk Road 6-week

Description

Yesterday, we descended the train from Urumqi for the first time in 24 hours and looked around at our last destination on the trip: Kashgar. From the station we took a long bus ride literally crammed with Uyghur people, including old men with impressive white beards, not to mention a couple women casually sporting mustaches. […]

Posted On

08/3/14

Author

Henry Case

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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    [post_date] => 2014-08-03 10:58:49
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-08-03 16:58:49
    [post_content] => 
image344-300x224 image345-300x224 image346-300x224 image347-300x224
Hi all! Please enjoy, stories to come! The I-Team [post_title] => Lake Karakul Trek Photos [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => lake-karakul-trek-photos [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-02 10:19:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-02 17:19:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=107583 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 154 [name] => Silk Road 6-week [slug] => silk-road [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 154 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 254 [count] => 81 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 8.1 [cat_ID] => 154 [category_count] => 81 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Silk Road 6-week [category_nicename] => silk-road [category_parent] => 254 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/silk-road/ ) ) [category_links] => Silk Road 6-week )

Silk Road 6-week

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Lake Karakul Trek Photos

I-Team,Silk Road 6-week

Description

Hi all! Please enjoy, stories to come! The I-Team

Posted On

08/3/14

Author

I-Team

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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    [post_date] => 2014-08-03 10:49:38
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    [post_content] => This yak may be a little late in the game, since our 24 hour train ride was already more than 24 hours ago, but hey, better late than never. I was one of 5 brave souls from our group that chose to rough it on the hard seater part of the train. And now, as George says, I can finally say I have Iived - for you have not lived unless you have taken a 24 hour hard seat on a train.

I interacted with more Uyghurs just on that one train ride than I probably have this whole trip. And their generous nature- this description isn't even doing them justice- never ceases to amaze me. For awhile I sat next to a large family. They gave me peaches, offered me cookies, and even slept on the floor so that I could have more room on the seat. Another girl on the train was watching, what I presume, a popular tv show in China, on her iPhone. And as soon as I sat down next to her, she put the screen in between us and gave me one of the ear buds. It seemed such a natural thing to her, sharing.

And while this part of the train was full of great people, I went out and scavenged for an empty bed, because the hard seater was just as I described: full. And for a few hours I slept in a bed, with the most sound rest I had gotten in awhile. But I was awoken from my deep slumber as a woman and a little boy entered the room, wondering why some smelly vagabond was sleeping in their bed. I quickly packed up my belongings, and was ready to go back to the seas of people in my car, when they saw how tired I was, and shook their hand, as if I shouldn't leave. "They said you can stay here and rest for awhile" said another man in the room, who thankfully spoke English. A flood of gratitude washed over me as they smiled and left the room, leaving me in their bed that they had paid for, to rest.

Of course all good things come to an end, so when I left the luxurious soft sleeper car and returned to my seat, my seat was nowhere to be found. What I mean is that all of the seats were taken by those playing their own game of musical chairs on the train. But as soon as I got back, everyone was willing to move over so that I could have a seat. No matter how little room they had, they still offered me sitting room, even if that meant they would have to get up for me. I ended up sitting next to a woman very fascinated by my journal. She took out a jiao from her purse, and began folding. One minute later she had made me an origami heart that she wanted me to put in my journal. She eagerly showed me pictures of her family, and I returned the favor.

From the minute I heard about the 24 hour train ride I was dreading it, but I had much lower expectations for the train than what was actually the case. The Uyghur people on the hard seat made the trip very enjoyable for me, and made the 24 hour thing a breeze.

-Claire
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Silk Road 6-week

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24 Hour Hard Seat

Claire Nusekabel,Silk Road 6-week

Description

This yak may be a little late in the game, since our 24 hour train ride was already more than 24 hours ago, but hey, better late than never. I was one of 5 brave souls from our group that chose to rough it on the hard seater part of the train. And now, as […]

Posted On

08/3/14

Author

Claire Nusekabel

Category

Silk Road 6-week

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2014-08-03 10:47:01
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-08-03 16:47:01
    [post_content] => After our brief stint in Beijing at the beginning of the course, many students sighed and said, "Man, I wish we had more time to explore the Northern Capital!"

Well, we've got some good news. We'll be finishing up the journey with more time in Beijing than expected. Here's what that time will look like:

8/2
Hang in the Seman Hotel. Students will rest after a long and challenging hike, chow down on some Western delights (it's been a while!) and, most importantly, plan the days in Beijing (see below).

8/3
Hop on a 3 pm flight to Urumqi, transfer, and land in Beijing late in the evening. Get a good night's rest for the days of exploration to come.

8/4 and 8/5
Expedition phase resumes!! The last two days of student-led travel (8/2 and 8/3) were cut short in Kashgar, so these two days in the Capital will be spent following the students' plans to bring us to the places they most desire to visit. We'll check out the Silk Market (of course, that's the road we're on), the Forbidden City, fly kites in the surrounding "Forbidden" park, visit the Summer Palace and some of the modern and miraculous 2008 Olympic Sites (Bird's Nest and Bubble Cube).

8/6 and 8/7
These days are reserved for our "Transference" period of the trip. We will relax, eat heartily and spend time reflection on the whirlwind six weeks that have just flown by! Students will be given tools to bring knowledge and experience gained this summer back home.

8/8
Flight to LAX!! We'll land just about when we take off, traveling back in time, around noon PST.

Thanks!
The I-Team

PS - Photos and stories from the trek and time in Kashgar are still coming, don't worry!!
    [post_title] => The Silk Road: A New and Improved Itinerary
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The Silk Road: A New and Improved Itinerary

I-Team,Silk Road 6-week

Description

After our brief stint in Beijing at the beginning of the course, many students sighed and said, “Man, I wish we had more time to explore the Northern Capital!” Well, we’ve got some good news. We’ll be finishing up the journey with more time in Beijing than expected. Here’s what that time will look like: […]

Posted On

08/3/14

Author

I-Team

Category

Silk Road 6-week

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2014-08-03 10:45:29
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-08-03 16:45:29
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image334-300x224
Fake Fishes Under Cherry and Oak, time and heritage provide. Ornate wood carvings line the walls. Fish swim in glowing blue water by the door. Gaudy decorations of a time now lost. The hand carved wooden pillars beautiful but unaligned. Traditional dress decorates the women and waiters. Titanic grandeur sailing waves furthest from the sea. --My mother is a fish-- gulp gulp My arms are bare in the forest of doppa. I sit in a throne of carpet and cherry. The walls are crowded like the Forest of Stupa. Bah. [post_title] => A Poem Composed at Our Last Feast in the West [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => poem-composed-last-feast-west [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-02 10:23:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-02 17:23:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=107567 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 154 [name] => Silk Road 6-week [slug] => silk-road [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 154 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 254 [count] => 81 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 8.1 [cat_ID] => 154 [category_count] => 81 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Silk Road 6-week [category_nicename] => silk-road [category_parent] => 254 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/silk-road/ ) ) [category_links] => Silk Road 6-week )
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A Poem Composed at Our Last Feast in the West

12 Students 12 Lines,Silk Road 6-week

Description

Fake Fishes Under Cherry and Oak, time and heritage provide. Ornate wood carvings line the walls. Fish swim in glowing blue water by the door. Gaudy decorations of a time now lost. The hand carved wooden pillars beautiful but unaligned. Traditional dress decorates the women and waiters. Titanic grandeur sailing waves furthest from the sea. […]

Posted On

08/3/14

Author

12 Students 12 Lines

Category

Silk Road 6-week

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2014-07-30 09:20:40
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-07-30 15:20:40
    [post_content] => 
Dear Family and Friends, We want to let everyone at home know that all is well on the Silk Road and we are very far from recent political/violent events that have occured in Xinjiang. We are currently on a 4 day trek at Lake Karakul (about 6 hours S of Kashgar) and are doing our best to work with the office and local contacts to gain as much information as possible so as to finish up safe, strong and healthy. More hike photos and stories to come soon!! (Students not pictured are outside brushing their teeth and taking in the beautiful mountain vista!) Best Regards, George [post_title] => Safe and Sound at Lake Karakul [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => safe-sound-lake-karakul [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-02 10:49:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-02 17:49:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=107412 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 154 [name] => Silk Road 6-week [slug] => silk-road [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 154 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 254 [count] => 81 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 8.1 [cat_ID] => 154 [category_count] => 81 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Silk Road 6-week [category_nicename] => silk-road [category_parent] => 254 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2014/silk-road/ ) ) [category_links] => Silk Road 6-week )
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Safe and Sound at Lake Karakul

CD George,Silk Road 6-week

Description

Dear Family and Friends, We want to let everyone at home know that all is well on the Silk Road and we are very far from recent political/violent events that have occured in Xinjiang. We are currently on a 4 day trek at Lake Karakul (about 6 hours S of Kashgar) and are doing our […]

Posted On

07/30/14

Author

CD George

Category

Silk Road 6-week

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2014-07-29 18:08:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-07-30 00:08:00
    [post_content] => Hello Silk Road Families and Friends,

The group is currently safe and waking up in yurts near a remote mountain lake, Karakul, about 130 miles west of the city of Kashgar.

Some of you may have seen news today about a violent incident in Ailixihu Township, near the town of Yarkand, about 100 miles southeast of Kashgar. According to the latest reports (the details are hard to be sure of, because of the nature of China's media) a clash took place between ethnically Uyghur civilians and Chinese troops/police in which 20-30 people were killed.

The area where the group is now, Karakul, is about 225 miles from where the violence took place. The group has no plans to visit Yarkand, the area where violence took place. They plan to remain at Karakul through at least August 1, before returning to the city of Kashgar, and then on to Beijing. The instructors will be in touch with their contacts in Kashgar in the coming days to assess the situation and get all of the latest information about safety and tensions in the region. The instructors are also in constant contact with Boulder and we are exchanging news and updates. At the moment, the group is in a quiet mountain area, home to mostly ethincally Kirghiz people, and very sparsely populated.

They'll be posting more photos and notes soon, and we'll be following the situation in Xinjiang Province and continuing to prioritize the safety of our students and instructors as the trip moves into it's final week. Best regards from Boulder, Jody
    [post_title] => Group is safe at Karakul, a mountain lake about five hours by road from Kashgar
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Silk Road 6-week

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Group is safe at Karakul, a mountain lake about five hours by road from Kashgar

Jody Segar,Silk Road 6-week

Description

Hello Silk Road Families and Friends, The group is currently safe and waking up in yurts near a remote mountain lake, Karakul, about 130 miles west of the city of Kashgar. Some of you may have seen news today about a violent incident in Ailixihu Township, near the town of Yarkand, about 100 miles southeast of […]

Posted On

07/29/14

Author

Jody Segar

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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    [post_date] => 2014-07-28 22:02:25
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    [post_content] => X-Phase!!!

For all those out there reading this who don't know, there is a portion of every Dragons trip that is planned and organized by the students alone, this is known as the expedition phase, or X-phase for short. Our group reached this point in our travels yesterday morning when we arrived in Kashgar. While in Urumqi we had a couple planning sessions for the X-phase, where we investigated our options of places to go, called travel guides, organized transportation, figured out meal plans, and haggled with everyone over prices. Our X-Phase will last 6 nights and 7 days from the 28th of july through, the morning of the 3rd of August. During this time we have decided to do a 4 day 3 night trek around Lake Karakul and a day hike to either Oytah Glacier or to Shipton's arch on the 2nd (we haven't got a cement plan for this day yet).

The basic layout:

This morning (the morning of the 29th) we will leave the hostel at 11am and board a bus that will take on a 6 hour ride on winding rugged roads to Lake Karakul. From there we will hike to some nearby yurts, have a home-cooked meal, and hit the sack.

The next day we will begin the real trek phase of our time at lake Karakul. We'll spend the whole day hiking and enjoying the scenery until we reach a local town to set up camp at for the night (our guide knows he exact place).

Day 3 of Lake Karakul: same as day 2.

Day 4: We trek a little during the morning and then take our bus back to Kashgar, where we take the rest of the day to relax and recover.

The 2nd of August is the day hike - right now it's looking to be Shipton's arch (the largest natural arch in the world), but, as plans are not concrete, that may change. We'll keep you updated!

The 3rd, we spend our morning completing our own "Amazing Race" Kashgar through the Sunday market. With the completion of this race, around noon that day, so too concludes the student led X-phase of our trip.

Cheers to you all at home!

We'll see you in a couple weeks!

 
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X-Phase Begins!

The Students,Silk Road 6-week

Description

X-Phase!!! For all those out there reading this who don’t know, there is a portion of every Dragons trip that is planned and organized by the students alone, this is known as the expedition phase, or X-phase for short. Our group reached this point in our travels yesterday morning when we arrived in Kashgar. While […]

Posted On

07/28/14

Author

The Students

Category

Silk Road 6-week

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