19 June 2011

Xian China, Day 5.

We started off our day in Xian with a walk through the area around Small Goose Pagoda. 
 Playing a ball game in the park. Our guide told us the game is very old, the ladies are playing in modern western clothes.
Xian is an old city. People have lived in this area for over 22,000 years.
The mixture of old and new is a constantly reoccurring theme.
Small Wild Goose Pagoda. 
 We toured part of the old city wall. This is one of the gates. It is actually two gates separated by an inner courtyard. Invaders who managed to get through the outer gate, could be picked off from above before they could get through the inner gate. This picture gives a good idea of how high these walls are.
The golden stage was set up for a ceremony to be held later in the day. Xian was having an agricultural festival while we were there.
 Up on the Xian city wall.
Once again, the old and the new side by side. See the high rises?
The mist you see is not just fog, the air quality in Xian is pretty bad.
That is the only drawback, otherwise I thought it was a wonderful city.
 Street food, a grocery store and lots of bustle. This is the Old Muslim quarter of Xian.
I could easily have spent an entire day just here.
All this walking has made us hungry. Tonight, dinner and a show.
A Dumpling Dinner. Top left, the pot for dumpling soup. Top right, fish dumplings. 
Many of the dumplings look like their filling. Those on the bottom left are duck, if yo look closely you can see they are shaped like ducks, see the head and necks? Bottom left are baked dumplings, these had a nut filling, they were some of my favorites. The duck and fish dumplings were steamed in bamboo steamers. 
Tang Dynasty dance program. This is a traditional Chinese dance that is supposed to be similar to what the Tang Emperors would have watched. Our guide for Xian, Florence (she told us her Chinese name was very difficult so we should call her Florence or Flo)  told us we would be treated like Emperors and Empresses during our stay. She was right. (Note the dancers sleeves, they could be extended or retracted by several feet as part of the dance. It sounds silly but it was very graceful. Keep it in mind, you will see it again.) 
 Another group of dancers. The center one has the long sleeves.  
By the end of the show, we were a couple of tired kids so back to our hotel.
Florence was not just talking about our dinner and show. We stayed at the Grand Mercure on Renmin Square. This has to be the poshest hotel I have ever stayed in. Luxury everywhere.
Big soft terry cloth robes and warm fuzzy slippers even waited for us in the room.
The two pictures on the left are of the lobby, the two on the right are of our room.
In the morning, our breakfast buffet lived up to the rest of the hotels standards. 
It was lovely and there were a lot of choices. 
Very nicely done.  
I had to take a photo of the sign, everything was labeled in English and Chinese.
I did try the "Boiled pears with snow fungus and crystal sugar",
they were OK, I expected something more exotic. They were a little too sweet.
For some reason, I did not take a picture of them.
They kind of looked like translucent white stringy noodles.
The question is, would you try something with a name like that?

I promise not to take so long to post the next installment.
Stay tuned,


  1. nice...what a cool place to visit...would love all the cultural elements...the dance, the food the architecture...

  2. How interesting to have an Old Muslim Quarter in the heart of this bustling fortressed city! And what a fortress - it looks so benign but to think it witnessed actual battles!! Wow!

    Oh but the food!! The food looks superb!! And very nicely presented!! Yum!!

    The ladies are gorgeous! Bet that was some dance if it was fit for the Emperor! It looks like an epic opera - very colourful.

    Thank you for another wonderful post of your exotic trip. It's a shame that pollution is blighting this very interesting place though!

    Take care

  3. I just can't imagine what a good time that was!!!

  4. Brilliant posting. I am enjoying this travelogue so much though I admit to being most envious!


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