Xi'an , day 1

I had some lovely days in Xian with my parents. It was much warmer than in Shanghai and we made sure to make the most of each day:

Thursday (dads birthday) started off with a hike to the city wall (which was conveniently located next to our hotel, however, where to get up on the wall wasnt as obvious as we first thought. We had to look for a while until we managed to locate the south gate). Once we got there we rented bikes and rode around the wall. It was a bumpy, noisy ride, but due to the fact that the peak season hadnt yet started it wasnt too crowded and we enjoyed ourselves... until mom realized that she had dropped her jacket and we had to go all the way back on the wall (and no, we still didnt find the jacket).

After the wall we set out to be tourists de luxe and did something I never do when travelling: visited sights and towers! We went to both the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower (!). None of them impressed me that much, but there was a group performance (= bored looking youngsters hitting their drums with perfection. They were really, really good, but one could tell that it wasnt the first time they performed. Some of them looked bored to death) at the Drum Tower just when we entered so that was quite interesting (although painful to the ears) to watch.

After that we went to explore the Muslim street , and this was the days highlight. I just loooove walking on busy, messy food streets, sampling street snacks and talking to vendors. We spent hours there, I went camera and snack crazy and for a while everything was wonderful.

Then we decided to do a short walk to a hotel bar that wed heard of for a relaxing drink. Sound good, right? Yeah, if only it would have been a short walk we ended up walking around for 1 hour until we finally ! found it . However, wine has never tasted better.

The bar staff gave us a bowl of snacks that we literally emptied like beasts, realizing that we were probably quite hungry. We decided to go for a restaurant that I located via dianping.com (love that site for restaurants) but apparently the list was out of date because when the taxi driver dropped us off there was a clothes shop rather than a restaurant at the address given. On top of that, the taxi driver tried to fool us (he didnt turn on the taximeter I was too hungry to notice- and once we got ready to get out he asked for 20 kuai, something that made me see red. After some yelling we gave him 10 kuai and walked off). Then followed some aimless, lost walking around in a hunger daze (it was impossible to get a taxi at that time) until we located something that looked quite decent and settled for that. Turned out to be a spicy, Hunan joint. Good food, but I was slightly disappointed that we never made it to any authentic Xian restaurant that day.

The next day was all about the Terracotta Army, but more about that tomorrow. For now, Ill give you a picture bomb from day one.

Riding on the city wall

View from the Bell Tower
Drums at the Drum Tower
Muslim Street -food street, yum!


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