Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Shaanxi, China
May 25, 2018 - Cultural capital of China Xi’an
Xi’an is the ancient capital of China, still surrounded by its original brick wall, built 1,100 years ago. We enjoy a wonderful couple of hours cycling 16 kms around the top of the wall on a glorious early summer day despite the misgivings of the girl hiring out the bikes. “How old are you?” You must be very careful. Are you sure you can ride this far?” We later learned that everyone, no exceptions, loses their driving licence at 65. Necessary to ensure congestion won’t increase too much with all the young people wanting licences. Those...Jump to full entry
Feb 12, 2018 - On our way from Xi'an.
We had a lazy day today, gently getting packed up. Carol did go out for a bit, but I hung out at the hostel taking it easy. We exited our room, got the luggage downstairs, and had an early lunch, and then sorted photos on the computer until it was time to leave. Our train was scheduled to leave at 2.37pm, so we left the hostel just after 12.30. I had asked the girls to get us a taxi, but they said that no taxi will come for such a short ride, and that we should get a bus to the station. Neither Carol nor I were very comfortable with this,...Jump to full entry
Feb 11, 2018 - Terracotta Warriors.
Well, we got good news when we came down for breakfast this morning. Our tour is on, and we will leave the hostel at around 9.30am, to get a bus out to the Terracotta Warriors. We ended up with nine people on the tour. Our tour guide Jiajia did an excellent job, and has a great sense of humour. Apart from Carol and I, we have a young couple from Brazil, three people from France (the young man is here to study for a year, and his parents have come to visit him) a young woman originally from Perth, who has just finished a six month singing...Jump to full entry
Feb 10, 2018 - Exploring central Xi'an.
We woke up at a reasonable time today, after getting a good sleep. We sure needed it. Breakfast was an omelette downstairs, with toast and salad as well. Very nice. Then we sorted out washing, to leave downstairs at the desk. It will take 24 hours, so that is fine. We both washed out small stuff by hand, squished them in towels to remove as much water as possible, and then laid them all out on my bed, which is sitting in glorious morning sun. We had confirmed a lovely suspicion about the floor. Yay - there is under floor heating. How...Jump to full entry
We did not have to rush this morning, so I got packed at my leisure, and took my gear down to the bar/restaurant area, and set up my laptop to get up to date with photos, and journal ramblings. For some reason, today nothing wanted to work for me. Photos would not upload. But I had piles of photos to do basic editing on, so that kept me occupied. Carol went out shopping. She was trying to find down jackets for both of her girls, but had no luck. She did come back with some other bits though, so she was happy. We had lunch at the hostel,...Jump to full entry
Nov 2, 2017 - The World's Most Dangerous Hike
Mt. Huashan is famous for natural vista of steep and narrow paths, precipitous crags and a high mountain range. Each of its five peaks are said to have its own charm: East Peak is the best place to enjoy the sunrise; South Peak has the highest altitude at 2160 meters (7000+ feet); West Peak is the most elegant; North Peak is famous as the Cloud Terrace Peak and Middle Peak is also called Jade Lady Peak. The mountain is also home to several influential Taoist temples, where many emperors of past dynasties took part in Taoist activities and...Jump to full entry
Oct 30, 2017 - The Terracotta Wariors - Xian
2000 soldiers excavated in pit one alone, only 80 artists every piece signed for quality control. Another 400 still buried here but now there is new techology to preserve the originol colours so are excavating again. Overall there are 400 pits in the area, three of which another 2000 warriors but only excavated to the “roof” so as to preserve them. Only one intact soldier found - the archer. 116 saddld horses found only in pit 2 clearly v well planned. Pit 3 was headquarters w diff lines od soldiers facing each other not battle formation...Jump to full entry
Oct 12, 2017 - Part 2: Weddings and Walls
Before leaving the Great Mosque we walked past a bride and groom taking formal wedding pictures in the courtyard of the mosque. Following that encounter, we headed to Xi'an City Walls. These walls are still intact and form a 9-mile long rectangle around the city center. While we waited for our entry tickets we saw another bride and groom having their pictures taken in the entry gate. Walking up the stairs to the top of the wall we found other brides and grooms taking pictures. This was not their wedding day; the gowns and tuxes were rented...Jump to full entry
Oct 12, 2017 - Part 1: What Woman Doesn't Like a Man in Uniform?
The day started with a drive to see the Terra Cotta Army outside of Xi'an. The Army was discovered in 1974 by peasants digging a well. The pottery figures, modeled from yellow clay, were made to guard the tomb of Qin Shi Huangdi, the despotic ruler who unified China over 2,200 year ago. There are 3 pits and over 7,000 soldiers, archers, and horses. It is a sight to behold. The weather was beautiful with mostly blue skies and perfect fall temperatures. The museum gift shop offered all sorts of Terra Cotta soldiers you could take home, from...Jump to full entry
Oct 11, 2017 - Yin and Yang of Weather
What a difference a day makes until it doesn't. We awoke to a gorgeous Beijing day with blue skies and comfortable fall temperatures. After bidding goodbye to the Hilton we headed to the Temple of Heaven which started life as the place emperors would make sacrifices and pray to heaven and ancestors of the winter solstice. The Temple of Heaven is situated in a large park that now attracts early morning practioners of tai ji quan, card games, dominoes, and crocheting and knitting. We were able to walk through the park and observe the various...Jump to full entry
Oct 3, 2017 - Terra cotta warriors in Xian
Xian was great except it rained hard all day long. I am a bit overwhelmed with the mass of humanity everywhere we go . The traffic, crowds pushing shoving. We got to the warrior sight right when it opened with prepared tickets (a perk of a tour) and still there were really long lines. The warriors themselves were very impressive and the museum amazing. HazelJump to full entry
Aug 30, 2017 - Xi'an, Shaannxi province
Xi'an in central China was the capital to' 13 dynasties including the time of the Silk Road so formed the starting (or ending) point. Until 1974 is was a middling size Chinese city with an auspicious history and the best preserved city Wall in China but it all changed one day in that year when a farmer digging a well just caught the corner by inches of what turned out to be the major archeological find of the late twentieth century: the 'Terracotta Warrior' mausoleum of the first Qin Emperor Quinshihuang built in the third century BC. For...Jump to full entry