Thursday, June 3, 2010

China Postcard Day 8 Xian City Wall

I am so excited to escape to China today!! We continue on with Day 8 of our trip, click here to see all China posts.

Fellow travelers spoke highly of bike rides on the Xian City Wall, so we planned our itinerary to include this exciting little bit. The hotel staff gave us helpful bus directions to arrive at the South gate. Each ticket cost 40 RMB, bike rental was 20 RMB for 100 minutes and required a refundable deposit of 200 RMB. It was a good thing I had extra cash, the total minus deposit was $9 Canadian per person and a great value this $9 was!

Our first scene on the wall, an endless brick paved road to the hazy distance, we had no idea the view would be this wonderful. On the right a rental motor vehicle to chauffeur visitors around but we much preferred our flexible transportation with endless stops of interest.
An outlook from the South gate, the bustling morning traffic at 9 AM. The total distance around the wall is 30 kilometers, we aimed to arrive at the North gate in one hour.
Surrounded by luscious greenery, a park square amidst the city grounds, more locals were exercising with disco music. Xian showcased an active and social lifestyle, if I were to live there I would visit the park everyday and partake in all kinds of workouts.
We came across a newer development, at the corner a drinking bar. It looked like residences with businesses mixed in. I like the old architecture style, especially the muted tones and the roof design.
In an older residential area, a communal outdoor gym on the sidewalk, one of several we saw throughout China. A couple of elderly chatted away while they pumped iron. Such nice colors on the equipment below, others we found were bright orange and yellow, they looked so happy!
The distant crowd noise caught our attention, lots of coming and going at what appeared to be an indoor marketplace. What were they selling? What were people buying? We wanted to know, but alas the time on my watch kept us riding along.
A quieter part of the neighborhood, a couple of locals caught up with their morning gossip. Under the turquoise awning, strings of dried chillies aired in the sun while quilts hung out to dry.
A whole street of quilts! Was it laundry day in Xian?
The sun began to rise, it brought out the bright colors of the fabrics. Various roofing materials could be seen, wooden windows amongst brick buildings, a quaint rooftop view.
David pointed out some solar water heaters. I had never seen them before, they sure are shiny, click here to see how they work.
It was past 10 AM, we rode feverishly to the rental station and asked the attendant for bus directions back to our hotel. The scene below from the North Gate, the streets were still wet from the street cleaners.
The hour went by quickly, too soon as a matter of fact! Oh how I wish we had stayed longer and explored the other half of the city wall. Below one of our lasting memories of Xian. We enjoyed our bike ride tremendously, it was definitely one of the best highlights of our China trip. Next week Day 8 of our journey continues!

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for another fabulous view of China.

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  2. Thanks again for writing this. This is one post I look forward to each week. He he he ... I used to remember that it's Wednesday you post your travel and then it's Thursday. So yesterday I was wondering, oh what happened to the post? LOL! See? I noticed. Travelling in China is so cheap. Makes me want to visit that country someday soon.

    Don't mind asking. The fog in the photos, are they air pollution? Or is it just mist. I see a lot of photos of China that are hazy. I fall sick easily when the air is not clean.

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  3. P.K.: Thanks! I feel lucky to relive the memory every week.

    Ben and Suanne: This week is so crazy I thought about posting on Friday but thought someone would definitely notice. :) Thanks for being such great fans. I'm not sure if the haze is pollution or not, when the sun came out the air was clearer within the hour so it may have been a combination of.

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