What did we do yesterday? What didn’t we do yesterday? I think we saw most of Xi’an, with the exception of the all-important terracotta warriors. We ended up flying here, even though it was only about a two hour flight. We got a good price on plane tickets and, what with the trouble we were having finding train tickets, decided to go with flying. So we arrived the night of the sixth, though I guess by the time we got to the hostel it was technically the morning of the seventh. We’re staying in a six person dormitory, and we are four of the six people, so no problem.
We start day one by walking out on Shu Yuan street. It’s an ancient street that traditionally sold calligraphy supplies and other scholarly things. Now, it mostly sells miniature terracotta warriors and other souvenirs. But they still have Tang dynasty era buildings and many of the shops are still calligraphy shops. We then saw the bell tower and drum tower of Xi’an. Apparently they are the emblem of the city. Then we headed over to the Hui minority district to get some yan rou pao mo which is a kind of a mutton stew with small pieces of bread in it. It’s a special local dish of Xi’an.
Then we saw the temple of the god of the city. It’s a taoist temple… maybe. Not entirely sure. We saw some gods and goddesses, and some cool statuary. I liked it because the temples were old and weathered looking. I also liked it because we found a yarn store there, for some reason. Now I have yarn for my March socks! woot!
hmm…Then we took a bus out to the Big Wild Goose pagoda and took some pictures with the local statuary. Someone also asked us to take a picture with their child and shoved it into Dan’s arms. Out of the four of us, apparently Dan looked most able to handle a child. We couldn’t stop laughing about it. The Big Wild Goose Pagoda also has the largest fountain in Asia. It’s timed to music and was actually pretty cool.
Then, we went to the party out by the city walls. We ended up buying a fire lantern. It’s traditional to write well wishes for family of friends or just in general on it. So we each wrote a sentiment, borrowed a lighter and lit it up. After some difficult in getting it hot enough to actually rise…
…we watched it slow progress from lantern, to light, to star, and finally into nothingness.