Wednesday, January 4, 2012

China Day 14, Part 2 - sightseeing in old Xi'an

We had some time to kill before our flight back to Beijing so they dropped us off in the old walled city section of Xi'an for a couple of hours.  We really enjoyed having a chance to wander around this beautiful area.  It was a lovely way to spend our last bit of free time in China.  Here are some pictures I took that afternoon:

heading to old town

They have both a wall and a moat surrounding the original part of Xi'an.

I think they were in the process of setting up for Chinese New Year.

I always thought that creatures from Outer Space were supposed to be either green or silver!


Get yer candied crab apples and roasted sweet potatoes here!


A street of coffeehouses and jazz clubs - and Cool Ha Na

Chinese to English sounds so graceful and yet so awkward

All of the Christmas decorations were still up - this one totally matches our front door!

Goodbye Coffee Street....

This does not bring back pleasant memories.

Back at the wall - look at how they hack away at the trees to keep them short.

Our green buses await in the distance.

It's the year of the dragon!

It got dark as we headed out of town.  Goodbye Xi'an!
Once we finished our afternoon of sightseeing in old Xi'an, we headed to the airport for our flight back to Beijing and the good ole USA the following morning.  After we arrived in Beijing and collected our luggage, there were three tiny shuttle buses waiting to take all eightysomething of us to our hotel.  Since it was already around midnight and our flight left at something like 5:30 in the morning, we were suddenly given the option of staying at the airport or taking the extra time to go stay at the hotel.

Most people decided at that point it would be easier to just stay at the airport.  The twelve or so of us who prefered to get in a few hours of sleep in a bed, and take a shower, were very grateful to have still had that option. 

We arrived at the airport the next morning feeling somewhat refreshed, and far less bleary-eyed than our counterparts who had toughed it out at the airport all night long.  Although from what I heard, there had been some beer and booze contributing to the bleary eyes of some.  My hat is off to all of them though.  They had a much longer day than we did, if you count the number of hours between nights of actual bed rest.

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