Thursday, September 25, 2008

Xi'an Discoveries: Biking the Wall

Another major feature of Xi'an that, until this week, we were clueless about was the fact a 700-year old Ming dynasty wall still circles the city. This is not just any little wall we are talking about. Something like 50 meters high. Eight miles in circumference. Hundreds of battlements along the way. And, for us, the best part...you can rent bikes!

From this perch, we saw old sections of the city that were strewn with burning garbage (literally). We saw areas that have recently been refurbished with new buildings made to look like classic Chinese structures. (Think new urbanism...) We saw the chaos of the train station and bus terminal from a safe and quiet distance.

Along the way, we got jostled around quite a bit. (It's like riding on big cobblestones.) And the weirdest sight of all? Two beautiful golden retrievers, looking totally out of context, amid the concrete of their "backyard." Definitely the kind of thing we could never had noticed
from the street. Interesting place, this Xi'an...and we haven't even been out to the Terra Cotta warriors yet...

~Steve

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