Our time in Xi’an was shortened by a change in flight times. The visit we experienced was nothing if not frenetic. Having arrived late on Wednesday, after a brief freshen up we began a two hour Xi’an by night tour. This city seems much more beautiful than Beijing to me (which, by contrast, appeared drab and colourless under the ubiquitous leaden and smoggy atmospheric conditions). My first view of Xi’an reminded me of a brightly lit up Christmas tree or the Lobethal Christmas lights display on steroids. We were taken to a big public square where there appeared to be hundreds of people participating in community dancing. The biggest group was performing a fan and umbrella dance in two long conga style lines directed by a man with a whistle who made the lines snake around the perimeter of the space and criss cross each other as well. Others in the square were waltzing or dancing more energetically to more modern music. It was a scene of joyous activity. We strolled along a very long strip in the middle of two roads where brightly lit statues of past emperors and one empress were depicted with their courtiers and many musicians. The
scale of the whole display was spectacular. We were also taken in the coach to see the brightly lit up city walls and the Bell and Drum towers. On our next full day of sightseeing we visited a factory where we saw how the souvenir terracotta warriors are made, the actual warriors themselves in the humongous pits which are still being excavated and we walked along the top of one section of the wall. My favourite spot was the Little Goose Pagoda Gardens. It was the first time I experienced quiet and a cooling atmosphere under centuries old trees. We also had a brief calligraphy lesson which I enjoyed. That evening we feasted on dumplings (after attempting to make our own) and watched a musical based on the only female Empress - Empress Wu. I was exhausted by the end of this very busy day.
RP was born a long time ago and was much loved by her family. When she had finished schooling, she travelled to the land of her ancestors, Italy, and fell in love. Not with a person, but rather with the surreal experience of arriving in a place she had never been before and feeling like she had never left. She spent a year in that land and then went back to Oz where she started working. Eventually she married and had three children. Her children have all grown up now, and some have started doing their own travelling. In recent times, RP has returned to Europe and discovered other places she no... full info