Xi'an, Shaanxi, China Week 13 19th - 20th July 2011
We were a bit sad to leave Guang Wu Shan.

It was like an oasis where nice things kept happening.

Forgot to take the camera, but even the restaurant was special. We ate at the same place twice.

And of course it was in mountains.

This is the road out. We are about to leave Sichuan for Shaanxi.

We stopped to empty the grey water.

On closer examination the pile of rubbish in the foreground was fibrous tiles.

Possibly white asbestos.

Concrete roadway all the 60km to the expressway.

The branches are the normal way of saying "something big is stopped just around the corner".

From the hills and onto a plain.

Since the river is flowing more slowly the banks are sand rather than the gravel of the mountains.

Its also yellowish silica sand rather than the whitish limestone sand we'd expected. 

From that plain back into the mountains.

We are a bit short on the geography of the area but the Qinling Mountains are the major barrier between North and South China.

The plank roads are a bit more special than we originally thought. Think of bits of wood set into the side of cliffs with the road laid on them.

We very quickly found ourselves on the "central plain" of Shaanxi province.

In Xian.

This is from our walk around the Big Goos Pagoda (yes, really).

This is the Big Goose Pagoda.
China comes alive in the evenings.

This chap joined a half dozen others who were flying kites.

A very enthusiastic happy chappy.

But the first attempt slowly deteriorated into desperate efforts to keep a dying kite in the air.

He failed and we didn't stay to watch subsequent attempts.

There were others that were a few hundred feet in the air.

Following day we went for a walk into the city center.

This is the second ring road from a pedestrian overpass.

Xian is like any big city anywhere in the world.

Right of center is the Drum Tower.

The photo is taken from the Bell Tower.

The Drum Tower held, you guessed it, a drum.

The Bell Tower held bells.

We listened to a performance (of bell ringing) in the Bell Tower.
Visited the post office, which is like a post office anywhere in the world, but takes a little longer than most to post a letter.

About 20 minutes for Susanna to post an original document required by the officials at our point of exit from China.

The Bell Tower from the Drum Tower.

To the right of the Bell Tower is a shopping center.

Like any in the world.

One of the more shameful aspects of my life is my ability to recognise global brands, like MacDonalds, Louis Vuitton, Omega, Jeans West, Baskin Robbins, and so on.

Fortunately I have successfully avoided having anything to do with them. We had no need to go into the shopping center.

After walking about 6km we decided to take a taxi.

This is the interior of the rear.

The bit of touch screen at bottom right, the blue "button" is the volume down. I couldn't find the brightness.

I don't care what language its in I resent being seen as a captive audience that can be advertised at.

One of the practices in China is for brides to have some of their wedding photos taken before the wedding day.

I've seen it in Aus as well.

Not sure that a busy street in a large city is an ideal site for wedding photos but then it wasn't me having my photo taken.

One of the more recent changes in China is from brides wearing red to wearing white. 

I thought I was in London for a few brief moments.

An open topped double decker tour bus.

Empty, just like I've seen them in London.

How does one photograph a museum?

The Shaanxi Historical Museum is rather special.

The central plain in Shaanxi is considered the cradle of Chinese civilisation.

We got to the plain over the mountains from the South.

Xian is also one end of the Silk Road.

The museum has exhibits from Neolithic through to the Tang Dynasty. All nicely in chronological order.

And a taste of things to come tomorrow.

The Terracotta Warriors.

When we first arrived at the museum it was open but the ticket office was closed.

Tickets are free if identification provided, 20 RMB otherwise. Black market wanted 50 RMB. We walked home for lunch and returned later.

Over 60 gets in free. The museum was crowded even though limited to 4,000 visitors per day.

Having made it difficult to get in the exit gate had been narrowed so that only one person could get out at a time. A very slow process. Bureaucrats having fun.

Back to the truck after a very tiring day.

We don't do cities well.

The Goosey Pagoda is a couple of hundred meters away.

No facilities at this campsite. Just a car park with a person collecting money (and who knows that we belong to the vehicle).

Had a Chinese burger for tea - local speciality street food called Rou Jia Mou. Very nice. Beats me why anyone would want to import Western burgers.

Terracotta Army, Shaanxi, China Week 13 21st July 2011

Peter and Kel Thu, 21 Jul 11 19:06:43 +1000
Guys we love reading your blog and looking at your photos.Keep up the good work.
Looks like you are having a great time.
Travel safe.
Pete & Kel

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