KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
I seemed to have suffered a case of food poisoning from an Egg McMuffin I’d eaten at McDonald’s earlier in the morning. Please see the previous entry for more details on how it affected our visit to see the Terracotta Warriors.
After a couple of hours rest, I felt better enough to walk to see the ancient walls surrounding the old city of Xi'an. I would have felt deprived if I had missed out walking on the wall. David and Jeong Ae weren't interested, so Anil and I set off on our own.
We arrived at the South Gate half an hour before closing and as we were climbing the steps to the top of the wall, several men in period costume rushed past us up the steps. The view from the top was splendid, the broad walls topped by watchtowers and decorated with red lanterns hung at intervals all along the 14km perimeter.
The street along the inside of the south wall has been restored using stone the same grey stone. It's a little too pristine for my taste but at least it helps to create the atmosphere of the ancient times. On the outside of the wall, modern Xi'an loomed with skyscrapers and rush-hour traffic.
I was sure we would be hustled off the wall as night fell, but no one bothered us and we just walked and walked until we reached the West Gate over an hour later. The lanterns had been lit, the city lights twinkled in the distance and the atmosphere was magical. It almost made up for my queasy stomach earlier in the day. I plan to give McDonald's a wide berth for the rest of my travels. I think I'll also avoid eggs for the foreseeable future.