Walls, Warriors in the Bedroom but no Cycling

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
Yesterday must have been a one off as things, and our moods, have improved considerably. Today was a quiet day pottering exploring our new surroundings in Xian which was once the capital of China. Whilst there is little left of the old city the walls which surround it are still intact. They were built in 1370 and are in such good order that you can cycle the 13km round the city on top of the walls, on a road about as wide as a three lane motorway in a great big circle. Imagine the Great Wall of China but three times as wide and all on one level.

You can cycle round provided you meet the stringent health and safety rules laid down by the Xian Tourist Authority for potential bike hirers . You must be over the age of 10 and not over 60! We were unaware of the restriction so filled in the hire form and were told we were too old and would have to go in the old people's golf cart!

We declined and walked a quarter of the way instead, we might go back to a different start point in a couple of days and lie about our age.

We are renting a very nice apartment in a rather shabby block of flats. The owner, Clarence Gou is a bit of an authority of the Warrior Army which we, and millions of others, come to see in Xian. He has written a guide about the site and tomorrow he will take us on a tour. He seems to have a bit of an obsession about the terracotta figures. I am writing this in our living room where there are eight full size terracotta warriors and a horse in the room. There are five at the top of our bed, which is supported by twenty more and another four at the foot, it might give us a bit of a fright in the night.

One thing we have not cracked in China is where to get a drink in the afternoon. After a couple of hours it is nice to sit down in a tea shop, bar or pub, have a nice refreshing drink and people watch for half an hour before going on with being a tourist. We have yet to find anywhere like that in either Beijing or Xian, the best we have managed is finding a restaurant which is open in the afternoon and just have a drink. There is a marketing opportunity here for someone.
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2018-02-25