Trip Start Sep 26, 2013
31Trip End Oct 26, 2013
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We got our driver to drop us off at the south gate of the city wall where we could rent bikes and go for a ride. We again did this activity last time but enjoyed it so much we wanted to do it again. Xi'an had one of the only fully intact ancient city walls left in the world which forms a 14km box around the heart of the city. The ride is nice along the top of the wall and the further away from the main access you get the fewer people you encounter. It made for a nice break from the crowds and traffic. We had the bikes for 100 minutes and it took us 95 to make it all the way around with stops for pictures but also moving at a fairly steady pace. The bikes were much better than last time, these once had front suspension which made it a lot better on the cobblestones. We walked back to our hotel from the wall stopping at Dairy Queen for a blizzard on the way back. It was hot as we finally had sun and blue skies.
In the evening we headed over to the Muslim quarter for supper. It is a huge night market that was packed with thousands of people. Again it was an exercise of elbows out and follow the leader. We stopped for supper at a dumpling house on the main market street and we knew it must be good as there was a huge line to get in. Our guide had a few words for the doorman and next thing we were walking down a dark alley next to the restaurant and in through one of the side doors. The only table available was a huge table for 9 so we ended up splitting it with some other random folks
The most important news of the day is that we now have our permits so we can legally get into Tibet tomorrow. Drujal is very excited as we are finally going to his home. He hasn't spent much time in the rest of China so he is like a tourist too at some of the places we go to and he is the first to admit it. We have a very early morning tomorrow as we at heading to the airport at 05:30 to catch our flight to Lhasa. Everything is new for us starting tomorrow which should be a slow day after we land so we can get acclimatized to the altitude. We go from a few hundred meters to 3700m. Like being suddenly dropped off on the top of Mount Robson.
André and Gina