Xi’an to Beijing

Drum tower in Xi'an,China

Image via Wikipedia

We went to the islamic mosque and then checked out the islamic quarter. sticky rice with rose sauce was delicious. we also tried a fried persimmon. we then walked down a very modern street with modern malls and spotted a dq and dunkin donuts. for lunch, we ducked into a hot pot restaurant…which was ok. clearly, a torist stop setup by the chinese tourism dpt. after lunch, we headed to the airport and departed Xi’an for Beijing. Upon arrival to Beijing, we checked into our hotel and then headed to wanfujing and decided to test our stomachs by eating scorpion and pupas.  the scorpion was surprisingly delightful, but i couldnt get past the texture of the outer shell of the pupa.

Xi’an

Tang Dynasty Warrior

Image by travfotos via Flickr

Since I was still feeling under the weather, no workout/jog today. Slept in a bit before checking out the gates and wall of ancient Xi’an.  Rode bikes along the wall which was roughly an 8mile ride.  The gates and the inner city were beautiful. Found out that roughly 8 million people live in this “small” city.  There’s quite a bit of smog here….tons of cranes building new condos.  After the city gates, we headed out to a ceramics factory where we learned how the traditional ceramics and laqcuer furniture are made. Lunch was at one of the farmer’s houses for a “simple” lunch of wheat noodles in a tomato based soup, scrambled eggs and chives with flat pancake bread, and chopped potatoes. We then headed to the terra-cotta soldiers which were every bit magnificent!  There are 3 pits open to the public with a 4th one opening soon.  You can still see some of the excavating going on.  The emperor’s tomb is located 1.5 km away and is left undisturbed.  Dinner was a traditional dumplings dinner with a Tang dynasty style theater show with music and dancing.  Called it an early night from still feeling pretty crappy.

Shanghai to Xi’an

Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai

Image via Wikipedia

To avoid the “smog”, we opted to workout in the hotel fitness centre which happened to be adequately equipped with aerobic machines and weights.  After a nice street breakfast, we headed up to Jinmao Tower (9m/sec elevator) to the 88th floor for a beautiful skyline view of Shanghai.  Then, we headed to the French Concession and checked out the Mansion Hotel which used to be a gangster’s (big ear Du) elegant house.  Then we checked out a very cute shopping area nearby….grabbed lunch (sticky rice and some summer ice cream-red bean-tapioca ball-jelly concoction that’s native to Shanghai).  We contemplated taking the Maglev high speed train from the airport to Shanghai and back just to see what it was like (30km in 8min)…but opted to play it safe and just chill at the airport.  We flew out from Shanghai to Xi’an and developed a bad cold on the way.