Tuesday, June 18, 2013

All work and no play? Hardly!

Less you all think that I slaved away every day while visiting China, it's time to reveal some of the "other" stuff I did. Before leaving Xi'an and flying to Beijing we spent the morning exploring the old city wall. Xi'an"s city wall is still intact, forming a 9 mile long rectangle around the city center. The wall was built in 1370 during the reign of Hongwu, the first Ming emperor. It was built on the foundations of the Tang imperial palace. One thing I found interesting about their building methods is for mortar they used a glutinous rice extract. But enough history, here are the pictures.
 So there are a couple options on how to explore the wall. On foot, (9 miles in the hot dry smog, no thanks). On golf cart with the ambulatory impaired, nope that's why I'm exploring China before all my hairs are gray. Or aboard a bicycle, I confess to some trepidation because I have seen many bikes in China that did not look transportation worthy. But here I am picking one out that should go the distance. It might be prudent to mention that Summer, who is selecting a bike behind me had to repeatedly replace her bike chain for 9 miles, so my fears were not without merit.

 Bet you can't surmise that 2013 is the year of the snake, right?
 Around much of the City wall is a moat, no floating crocodiles though, just water.
 Taking a break, with as many miles ahead of me as I have already biked. It might be nice to mention that the pavement of  1370 is not smooth, but more cobble stone in nature where it still exists and if it doesn't exist, those are pot holes. Having seriously injured my neck years ago, I can hear my husbands admonitions on my poor choice. But I will never pass this way again, and I want the full experience. Besides that is what Motrin is for.
 A view from the top as to how we would enter and leave the city center. Interesting to note that cabs are fined if they leave or enter the city during peak hours. This may explain some of our difficulty in hailing a cab while trying to get to dinner with the other dentists.

In a country so desperate for space, it's interesting to see what remains in the old city.
It's market time in the morning inside the city wall. During our adventure with the dentists we visited a beautiful Asian Mosque inside the city wall. It was very calm and peaceful there, but somewhat neglected as I found most of China to be.


Anita Preece said...

How Fun! What an adventurous soul you are! Some of us live our wildest adventures through you because we are too scared to venture out on our own! Way to go!

Georgia said...

I'm so glad you took a few minutes for some fun in your service-oriented trip.

You may never pass this way again. Good for you to grab a bike and ride the old wall. I hope the Motrin did its job and isn't needed any longer.