Hello everyone. I am now in a city called Kurle in Xinjiang. This is a Mongolian self-governing county. Since it produces oil, the city is and looks very prosperous.

I have been to Xi’an, Urumqi, Kashi, Aksu, Kuqa so far. None of these places was particularly memorable. If the city was very well developed, it did not have a "silk-road" feel. If it was not well developed, then we worried about the hotel, the toilet all the time, and yet there was still not much "silk-road" feel. What is most impressive is the time we have to spend on the coach, 8 hours a day, 6 hours a day and 5.5 hours for today, because Xinjiang is such a vast place and the cities are really far apart. Our guide has brought a whole set of "Kangxi Diguo" (50 hours) for the coach journeys. But since there were some problems with the electricity of the coach, we endured two very quiet yet very long coach journeys.

The people in the tour group are very nice and we get along well. I eat three full meals every day and am growing fat. Xinjiang is getting colder (is already quite cold), but, alas, half of the clothes that I have brought is short-sleeve tees. So I have a problem here. I hope it will get warmer after we get to Turfan.

Will write to you if I have the chance. Will be back on 7.10.03.

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