Lake Karakul

One of the absolute highlights on our trip to Xinjiang was the visit to Karakul Lake. This gorgeous little lake is situated at an altitude of 3600 meters. The altitude was certainly noticeable! I quickly became short of breath.

Something that makes the lake particularly beautiful is the mountain Muztagh Ata (7546 meters above sea level) that is often reflected by the surface of the lake. Sven Hedin tried to climb this mountain in 1894, but he failed.

A small group of Kirghiz people tried to sell handicraft and offered rides on camels and horses.

I liked the description of the lake on German Wikipedia: "berühmt für seine surreale Szenerie, welche sich mit großer Klarheit im Seewasser spiegelt, das von Dunkelgrün bis Azur- und Hellblau die verschiedensten Färbungen annimmt."

(As always in minority areas of China, it is hard to know how to spell names. I believe Karakul is Kirghiz, which is appropriate, for the population in the immediate neighborhood is Kirghiz. In Uighur, it is something like Karakolum, while it is different in Chinese: 喀拉库勒湖 Kalakule hu. Of course "Lake" is, strictly speaking, unnecessary, like "hu" in Chinese, since "kul" in Kirghiz means "lake". "Kara" means "black").

I am riding camel towards Mustagh Ata

Nichole and Cynthia riding.

Lucy accompanied by a Kirghiz horse minder (what are his motives?).

Liz on a horse.

Adam and his horse.

Joanna has ridden camels before and managed hers admirably on her own.

And so did Cynthia.

Miles looks like he wants to conquer Muztagh Ata next.

And finally, Muztagh Ata in all her glory. She is attended by a series of lower peaks. All photographed from a place that is about a mile higher above sea level than the tallest point in Sweden.

And as a PS, the old outhouse. Here one really needs to know something about non-European scripts to know which side one should choose. I dedicate this picture to the memory of my junior high school Swedish teacher, the brilliant Nils G Hörnström, who once said that one of his favorite visual jokes was an old cartoon of a man in obvious need staring confusedly at two doors with only texts in incomprehensible languages. He used this as an argument for learning foreign languages. In the thirty years since I heard this from him, I had never seen any such doors, until I got to Lake Karakul. (Hint: men go to the left.)

Postat av: Anonym

Vilka underbara bilder!

2010-09-07 @ 18:18:26
Postat av: Eva Winroth

Jag var på ett föredrag med Sven Hedin i min ungdom, någongång på 60-talet. Jag undrar om han berättade om berget då?

2010-09-08 @ 21:27:18

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