Our adventure in 2014 took us to the legendary Silk Road of China with its starting point in Xian and ending up in Kashgar. Passing fascinating, famous Silk Road oasis cities on the way and encountering friendly local people, whose ethnic background is as colorful as their dress up, traditions and markets, brought the whole picture of the famous trade route reality alive. It was like looking into the mirror, which besides reflecting the present, definitely portrayed the glorious past of the region. Walking through the crowded, old-fashioned bazaars revealed the deep rooted ethnic peoples' heritage, largely formed and shaped as a result of the influence of the first international trade route.
Apart from enjoying the intriguing scenery along the way, seeing some of the oldest remains of the Buddhist Temples, which was the dominant religion before Islam was introduced in the 10th century, and impressive historical ruins of once thriving Silk Road cities, we experienced warm hospitality of the natives, which, who wouldn't agree, is one of the biggest highlights of travel experience, heartwarming and unforgettable.
There is old saying "things don't happen for no reason", this was certainly true in our case, when our car had an insignificant mechanical problem close to a village, populated by Kyrgyz minorities, and we had to stop to fix it, this was when one of the villagers spontaneously and kindly invited us to his home, where we met his wife and son too. We could only exchange few sentences with our guide's help, though their big welcoming smiles said more than any conversation could. We enjoyed the bread and yak butter tea with them, which is the staple food for the locals, and was the only welcoming treat they could offer at that moment, although they did it with great hospitality and generosity.
Our travel experience, like any in general, proved once again that traveling is the best education and eye-opener in life.