Saturday, June 28, 2008

Xi'an and lost again

Had a rough nights sleep on the train. Lots of stopping and starting. Arrived in Xi'an at 8am and was able to get into our rooms at the YMCA which was great because I really needed a shower to wake me up. Then we went to see the big wild goose pagoda. I'm not really into pagodas, they seem really lifeless. After the pagoda we went to the Muslim quarter for lunch. Was put off a bit by all the unrefrigerated food that was hanging by the roadside. Has a bun filled with chicken, spices and lettuce - totally dodgy but tasted a bit like a KFC zinger burger. After that we tried to find the Southern gate of the city wall. We found it after a bit of walking and illegal J walking across six lane highways. We climbed up the steps to the bike hire place so that we could bike on top of the wall. Did well as it was flat with some bumpy bits. Managed the 14km in 100min which was our allocated time on the bikes. After that we tried to get home and got lost again and ended up walking for 2 1/2 hours to get back to the hotel by asking a lot of questions and getting some very different answers. Was totally sick of China at this stage and I wasn't the only one. Most of the girls in the group has similar feelings. Tried to get a taxi back to the hotel but apparently too close to hotel and he refused to take us (we were about an hour away at this stage). Got back eventually. For dinner a few of us went to a dumpling dinner (278Y) where we sampled 22 different dumplings - 'it look like duck, it duck dumpling'. Didn't like the walnut dumpling, it was too sweet as was the dessert dumpling. This was accompanied with a dance show which was quite good and almost understandable. Walked back to the hotel which took about 20min (not 2 1/2 hour it took earlier). Totally exhausted.