ay 188… We thankfully pull in and get the hell off the train of doom and go to the hotel to freshen the hell up. After that its off to explore. As the imperial centre of China for 2,000 years, Xi’an is now a vibrant, modern city dotted with many interesting historical sites. A monument pays homage to the fact that this was the start of the famous ancient trading route of the Silk Road and the city is still surrounded by city walls. Wandering around we spotted trails of tiny light kites streaming I to the sky… a sa.es pitch to get u to buy a string of 12 kites… they tie 10 sets together or more and they stretch to the heavens… up to 50 stories! That said, running around the square was as tiny little 4 yrs old girl running as fast as her little legs would carry her with her 12 kites flying behind. Sooooo cute!
Our walking tour of the city centre shows us some of the highlights such as the Bell & Drum Towers, the Muslim Quarter as well as the City Walls and Gates. After a great lunch of spiced potatoes, we explore the markets and find some nifty treasures. On the return we have split into 2 mini groups… 2 girls head off to get a tattoo (Amelia’s birthday gift to herself), while me and the remaining 2 go sightseeing g and stumbling through the streets trying to find places without being able to speak chinese. We do fairly well, esp ands I take control of that and people (especially the ladies here) seem to like me and I get lots of smiles and requests for photos and selfies. After a rushed lunch, we get etc a cake for our bday girl and regroup for dinner and a dumpling show. The show was just spectacular! After a meal of like 20 different dumplings (including one not only made to LOOK like a googly eyed goldfish… it CONTAINED minced goldfish. Tasty too!) we were given a fantastic display of traditional Chinese music, dance and costume. By far my favourite part (& not just because it contained super hot chinese women) was the ribbon-sleeve dance which was mesmerising