Sightseeing, clubbing & table tennis!
11.11.2006 28 °C
The overnight train journey to Xian from Beijing on 13th August was the most comfortable I've had and I relaxed on my soft bunk watching "House of Flying Daggers" on the flat screen t.v. Charlotte had arranged a free pick-up from the train station by the hostel so we waited with their rep for the bus. Charlotte was almost pick-pocketed but adge caught the little girl in the act and she ran off empty handed. Our ride eventually turned up and we had a short ride through the morning traffic. We dropped off our bags in the dark, dingy, damp and damn dreadful dorm room in the basement and set off for a walk along the 10m high city wall back to the train station to purchase our onward journey tickets. We were all going our seperate ways from this point, although me and adge both went to Chengdu but on different days and jon and charlotte were both going to Hong Kong to fly back to blighty. After we endured the craziness and queue jumping of some of the Chinese we got our tickets and had a leisurely walk back to the hostel. Here we booked our places for the Terracotta Warriers tour the following day and played table tennis for a couple of hours. As usual adge was unbeaten but both jon and myself produced some shots of magnificance!
The following morning, after an awful nights sleep, we rose early to join the tour and were greeted by a glorious sunny day. On the bus we were welcomed by possibly the most annoying tour guide in the world who talked constantly and loudly for about an hour until we arrived at the factory where the souvenirs are produced. We had a short and interesting tour before getting back on the bus. Upon arrival at the Terracotta Warriers we watched a short film before checking out the pits holding the warriers. To say they are impressive is an understatment, especially considering the army was built over a 40 year period and after the death of the Emporer Qin Shi. All warriers were individually crafted and no two look the same. So much of the tomb remains to be uncovered and it could take scientists decades to completely reveal its contents. I would like to return when its full glory is revealed, minus the tour guide!
That night we went out for Beijing duck which was good but no better than what we have back home. Then we went to a club on the high street with a couple of French girls, got drunk on vodka,and danced with some really friendly Chinese revellers! I finally broke my duck (so to speak) and woke feeling a bit rough after the evenings festivities!