It is likely that not many Americans have heard of Kyrgyzstan or know where this Central Asian country is located. Fred and Sharon Lundahl, proprietors of Music for the Eyes, worked as diplomats in this country, along with several others in Central Asia. When they retired from the US Diplomatic Service, they became residents of Whidbey Island and established themselves as shop keepers. They continue to make one or two trips a year abroad to restock their inventories of incredible Oriental rugs, hats and other unusual items. They also enjoy traveling to Turkey, which has always been a wonderful place for rugs and textiles, as well as to Russia, Tibet and other exotic places.
The Lundahls are now ready to leave on their May trip to Hunza, in northern Pakistan, which has sometimes been called Shangri-la. Hunza is a mountainous valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region at an elevation of around 8,000 to 9,000 feet. It is a tourist destination because of the spectacular scenery of the surrounding mountains like K-2, Rakaposhi, Ultar Sar, Bojahagur, Bublimotin (and more) at 20,000 feet or higher.
It is also the site of a workshop where women are making rugs for Music for the Eyes. Sharon Lundahl and the workshop's manager, Didar Ali, have been designing rugs from pictures or ideas. On the looms now are rugs taking their inspiration from 16th century hunting carpets. Hand-made rugs can take up to a year to weave.
Sharon says, “We are anxious to see them in Langley, and expect to have them in our store in about four months.
The trip to northern Pakistan is one of the two trips the Lundahls take every year. On display in the store now are several treasures from their October trip to Morocco.
The store on First Street in Downtown Langley definitely lives up to its name. It’s impossible to walk through the door and not be dazzled by the huge array of colors, textures and products. Sharon also creates her own line of silver jewelry which is featured in the store.
Many people believe that the Lundahls have one of the largest and finest collections around of Oriental rugs, musical instruments, jewelry, robes and other artifacts from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan (former members of the Soviet Union).
For more information about the store and the stories of Fred and Sharon Lundahl, visit the website for Music for the Eyes - www.musicfortheeyes.com; and visit the website to read Fred’s Blog about their travels: http://musicfortheeyes.com/2013/12/fez-the-mysterious/
Stop by Music for the Eyes, 314 First Street in Langley. They are open 7 days a week 11 am to 5 pm.