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Impressions of China

San Francisco | Beijing 1 | Beijing 2 | Beijing 3 | Beijing 4 | Xian 1 | Xian 2 | Guilin |  Chong-Qing
Yangtze River 1 | Yangtze River 2 | Yangtze River 3 | Shanghai 1 | Shanghai 2 | Shanghai 3 | Observations
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Xian - Day Two

Today the sun was out. Although it was not really clear, we could see more of the distant scenery than we have been able to since arriving in China. The pollution is and has been very bad. I woke this morning with a sore throat and chest pain (it cleared up by mid-day). I couldn't understand why the natives were always spitting. Now I do.

The day was frenetically busy. We started out with a visit to the Blue Goose Pagoda, the largest Buddhist temple in China. Jade everywhere, and gorgeous grounds. From there we went to a jade factory. The jade was interesting but not something I ever took a shine to. However, they did have paintings done as silk thread embroidery. The productions were so realistic they looked photographic. CC and I have a deal that we do not buy any art unless we both agree. We couldn't agree on any piece at this store.

The next stop was the Muslim Market. To get there we passed through a City Gate. Xian has an ancient wall about 14 kilometers square that is relatively intact (some sections have been rebuilt) and surrounds a portionof the city. The Muslim market has two parts. One part sells junk to tourists (it reminded me of Tijuana in the sense that scores of merchants all try and sell essentially the same things). The second section consisted of eating stalls, and stalls selling fruits and vegetables to the locals. Great fun.

Inside the Market area was an ancient Islamic garden/madrassa/mosque that combined elements of both Chinese and Islamic architecture and decoration. You could clearly see design elements of the Forbidden City here, while other parts were clearly Islamic. The two combined quite well. We were able to walk through the entire area so we didn't go into an actual mosque, although the guidebooks called this area was a mosque. We walked in from a side street and then went through three connected, square garden courtyards surrounded by rooms. In the center courtyard there was a structure that looked like a pagoda, not a mosque. Each of the gardens was filled with fruit trees and roses. Birds were everywhere. (CC note: this just may have been the most memorable place I have seen so far on the trip.)

After a dim sum lunch, we went to a museum that displayed relics from the first Han emperor's tomb. There were terra cotta figures here also, but a quarter of the size of the ones we saw yesterday. The ones here also included women. Unlike the other site, this one had terra cotta animals (horses, cows, pigs, sheep, goats). The pigs somehow had a personality; the rest of the animals were just clay animals.

     

San Francisco | Beijing 1 | Beijing 2 | Beijing 3 | Beijing 4 | Xian 1 | Xian 2 | Guilin |  Chong-Qing
Yangtze River 1 | Yangtze River 2 | Yangtze River 3 | Shanghai 1 | Shanghai 2 | Shanghai 3
Observations


HOME  |  AUSTRALIA 2003  |  ACROSS AMERICA  |  IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA  |  VIETNAM  |  AFRICA  |  AROUND THE WORLD 2009  |  SOUTH AMERICA 2009  |  LEGENDARY CULTURES 2011
  |  TURKEY AND GREECE  |  CIRCLE THE ARCTIC