mardi 10 avril 2007

Days in Xi'an

Well, I haven't been blogging for a while. I'm sorry for that, but I've been quite busy :)

So first, the train journey was fine. I was in the same room as a middle-aged Australian woman (from Perth :), so we talked a little bit about Australia and Perth.
I didn't managed to sleep well in the train, so when I arrived in my Hostel in Xi'an I slept for a few hours...

The hostel in question, Bob's guesthouse, is a great - and clean - Youth Hostel with a very friendly staff. So, if you ever need
a good budget hotel in Xi'an, I highly recommend this one.

The day of my arrival, I made a trip to Xi'an downtown and visited the Bell and Drum tower. There even was a great drum show there!

Here is the video for my first day in Xi'an:

I spent the morning of the next day dealing with my train ticket to Shanghai. And big bad news: there was no ticket available until April 16th. It seems there's some sort of spring festival in Shanghai, so all tickets were sold out...
I really *hate* China's railway system: you can't book tickets long time in advance (most times it's only 4 days before. But, apparently it was 20 days for the Xi'an-Shanghai train...). And you must reside in the right town to buy the train ticket: ie if you're in Beijing, you can't buy tickets for trains leaving from Xi'an...).

So, the only remaining option for me was to take the plane. It's a little more expensive but I've got almost no other choice...
The other thing I could have done was to try to buy a ticket for a city near Shanghai like Nanjing and once there, buy the ticket to Shanghai. But I didn't think about it at the time.

As I wanted to enjoy at least the afternoon of this bad day, I took the bus to visit the terracotta army.

This was somewhat special for me because I wanted to see these warriors for a long time. They were one of the main reasons of why I wanted to come to China in the first place.
And of course, it was completely amazing. They were so well preserved! You could see all the details on them... Each facial expression was different!

Today, I wanted to visit the Xi'an city a little more. So I spent a lot of time in the streets and finally went to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the biggest Buddhist pagoda of the region.

I went next to the Shaanxi museum, one of the most important museum of the whole country that retraces the history of China beginning from the Neolithic era and going through the Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and at last the Qing dynasties.

Here is the video for these two days:

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