Xi'an - the Ancient Capital

Trip Start Sep 02, 2011
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Trip End Sep 19, 2011


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What I did
City Wall
Shaanxi Provincial Museum

Flag of China  , Shaanxi,
Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Our flight to Xi'an this morning requires a very early wake-up call, and departure from the hotel. Everything goes perfectly with check-in and boarding of our flight, and then comes the news from the pilot that there is a very long wait for take-off due to air traffic control. We aren't sure if the problem is in Beijing or in Xi'an, but we sit on the runway for more than an hour. Fortunately we have access to water and the bathrooms.

Upon arrival in Xi'an I am delighted to see that we have been assigned the same guide Toto Tours has had in this city for many visits over the past decade. He immediately bonds with the group, and dazzles us with lunch at one of the best restaurants we have experienced on this tour so far.

After lunch we go to the ancient city wall, which is a rectangle 10 miles around encompassing the ancient city. We are scheduled to ride bikes on the wall, but it has been raining for the past three days and the authorities have closed the bicycling concessions because they fear the wall is too slippery. We walk for a while, and then proceed to the Provincial Museum, which provides a glimpse of the history of this region of China -- the original starting point for the Silk Road -- back to the 21st century BC.

After the museum we visit an art museum displaying both naive folk art and classical styles, and we learn about the elements of calligraphy by actually trying to do it ourselves. It is an interesting change of pace to our sightseeing. 

Going to the hotel for check-in we encounter a traffic gridlock. I love this group, as nobody minds walking 15 minutes from where the bus is trapped in traffic to the hotel for our check-in. Today's delays have cost us the opportunity to attend the famous "Tang Dynasty Show" but we end the day with a delicious dumpling banquet.
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Comments

Bruce on

interesting memories

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