The last two days have been incredible, and incredibly busy. Yesterday was our last day in Beijing, and we had a free morning. So we checked out of the hotel early, and hopped a cab to the old section of town, where there were no tourists except for us. We stumbled across a tea house where we saw a tea ceremony performed, and we visited a Confucian Temple and a Lama Temple. That afternoon, the group joined back up, and we headed for the Summer Palace Gardens. We concluded our stay in Beijing with dinner, and then headed for the train.
The overnight train ride to Xian was a bonding time for our little group. We had a bottle of single malt that has been travelling with us, and we also accquired some beer and wine, and made a party of it. ANd then up again this morning in time to pull into Xian.
We dropped luggage at the hotel, and then without stopping to check in, began our tour of the city. We spent some time at the National Museum, which was OK, and then headed to the sight of the Terra Cotta Warriors, which was spectacular. The entire sight was amazing, and the stories behind it even more so.
We returned to the hotel to get checked in, and even though we were all bushed, some of us got up the energy to go to a dumpling dinner, and a show composed of dance and music from the Tang Dynasty. The dumplings were folded in such a way as to show what was in them. Pork dumplings were folded to look like pigs, etc. And the show was colorful and entertaining. It was well worth staing up for. Tomorrow we visit the Wild Goose Pagoda (a Buddhist Temple), and the City Wall, after which we hop a plane to Chongqing (home of good friend Hou Li) to get a boat for our river cruise. I am truly sorry we cannot stay longer in Xian, but I look forward to the cruise.