We had one more sight to see here in Kashgar, the spectacular large Id Kah Mosque which is the largest mosque in all of China. It sees more than 10.000 worshippers every Friday evening and can accommodate up to 20.000. Not too shabby, isn’t it?
The entrance fee for infidels was super steep but apparently the mosque has to finance it super-sized proportions. At least you get a stamped post card with the ticket but can only use it for inland China.
At least it was cool inside the mosque and the gardens were as usual lush. Still we needed to take a break after this long and exhausting day therefore Patty was leading us to a 100-year-old tea house that gets frequented only by local men and tourists.
Here we were entertained with a little concert (check out the video I made) and drank cream tea which tasted slightly salty. Why it was called cream tea is beyond me because there was neither milk nor cream in this tea but looked more like curdled whey. I had expected something more along the lines of the sweet tea from Tibet, but this was not to be. The saffron tea, made from local saffron was a lot better. I ended up buying the local cardamom tea though which is black tea with rose leaves and a hint of cardamom. So lovely when you drink it and transports me immediately back to my travels.
From the tea house we walked to the hotel where we first took a look at the former British consulate in the back of the Chini Bagh Hotel. Not much was left of the earlier furniture but between the Chinese decor and tables you could still see a bit of its former beauty.
After this small detour we checked into the hotel and got our room. What impressed me most was the choice of condoms available in the bathroom. Who would have thought?
We had about thirty minutes to get ready for our family dinner that evening. It was our last evening in China together. The next morning Sylvia and I would leave for Kyrgyzstan and Babsi would fly back to Beijing. I was honestly not really in the mood for this dinner because after the home-stay disaster in Tuyuk I rather wanted to eat in a restaurant. But this was exactly the right mind-set for a wonderful evening. Yours, Pollybert