Friday, November 11, 2011


The school has a week long holiday the last week in Oct. so Blaine, Dallas and l went on a trip 
to Xian and then to Beijing.  Xian is one of the oldest cities in China with over 3000 years of 
history, and when Beijing was a remote trading post, Xian was the largest city in the world and
 at the height of its glory. It is one of the four ancient capitals of Imperial China.  Today the city is
 a huge sprawling mass of 6 million people, and rather grey with pollution and seems kind of grungy. 
 They drive where ever they want to and its a mix of bikes, foot traffic cars, buses all honking and 
yelling at one another!!  Our driver would drive along the center line and then dart into whichever lane
 seemed more advantages!!  Why they don't kill each other l don't know!

We stayed at the Bell Tower Hotel which is right in the center of the old walled city and 
across the street from the Bell Tower.
Our room was very spacious and clean and comfortable.  Most rooms here have single beds.
 We found a Dairy Queen down the street so of course had to go there!
 They had some strange concoctions but it was good!
Across the road was another big mall and of course a McDonald's!
Inside the mall with its many floors!
The Bell Tower right in front of our hotel and the Drum Tower to the left.  The bell was struck
 at dawn and the Drum was beaten at sunset.  I was wishing they still did that today!

So pretty at night!
The bell that sits outside on the left corner.
There is so much history here and to think that a lot of it was started before the
time of Christ. Our countries are so young!
The Drum Tower.
There was a back lane that led from the hotel to the drum tower and Muslim Quarters.
Same lane at night, looking toward the Drum Tower.

Had to take a picture of this picture that was in a wedding shop along the lane
between the two Towers!!  Any takers for this wedding attire, or lack thereof?
Don't know what this building was, but it was rather impressive.
The city wall fortifications is one of the oldest and the last major city walls standing
intact in China.  It is really impressive to see.

Steps leading to the top of the wall.  Steps everywhere in China!!!!
This is rather blurry, but they have people dressed in period costumes here and there marching around
which is kind of neat.
I took this picture because of the small Pagoda in the middle between the two buildings.  Xian has a
couple of famous, very large Pagodas, but we didn't have time to go see them.

The base of the wall is 16 -18 m thick and the wall itself is 13.7 km. in circumference and encircles an area of 11.5km sq. 
Watch Tower. 

Examples of weapons.

The decorations on everything is astounding.

It was built wide enough so they could have two way chariot traffic on the top!  You can rent
bikes or rickshaws to ride around the whole thing.
It seems to go on forever.
These two look like dangerous invaders!!  It was actually pretty chilly up there with the wind blowing.
These guys were getting ready to do their march up on the top!
Heading out of the walled city.
Driving on the outside of the wall and looking toward the Drum Tower.  Xian itself has so many amazing
ancient sites to see, let alone all the other areas outside the city, like the Terracotta Warriors, silk factories,
and ancient burial sites of Emperors.  Well worth the trip to see it.

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