I am sitting in an Internet Cafe in Xi'an waiting for our overnight train to Chengdu tomorrow. Since the girls arrived on Monday we tried to pack as much in as possible and so far everythings been great. Monday they were feeling quite jetlagged so i took them to the Silk Market (by far the most important cultural site in Beijing Dad). where we stocked up on counterfeit goods.
Tuesday we went to Tian'anmen, the forbidden city and then finally in the evening we went to the food market at Wanfujing where we all tried some scorpions! (Millie finally putting it in her mouth after 10 minutes deliberation)
Wednesday we got up early and headed to the Great Wall. The same section we went to with Dad and Beth. The day wasn't quite as clear as last time but we still had some amazing views. In the evening Jacob (my boss from BEA) took us out for a really lovely dinner and after we went out to a club in Beijing.
Thursday we had a chilled out day, it was nice and warm so we went to a nice lake surrounded by the local 'Hutong' streets. These are the tiny little alleys on which the old style courtyard houses are situated. We hired a 3 person bicycle and (with great difficulty at first) rode around the Hutongs. We received some very shocked faces from the locals who sit outside in the alleys chatting and playing cards; 3 westerners riding past on a ridiculous bike, every now and then crashing into the odd wall much to their amusement.
In the evening we caught our overnight train to Xi'an getting us here about 8 AM. We have had a very long day visiting the Terraotta army. Our guide told us how the Emperor who had the army built for his tomb, had all 720,000 workers executed along with their families after it was built so that they could never reveal the location of his tomb to his enemies! Unfortunately for him one escaped and did exactly that! Hence why all the soldiers. He also had 1000 of his favourite concubines burried alive in his tomb with him (nice guy). However doing both the Great Wall and the Terracotta army has meant we have ticked of two of wonders of the world in 3 days. Not bad going!
Tonight we have another overnight train to Chengdu where we will visit the Panda Centre and also Dafo Le Shan. Then for our two night cruise down the Yangtze River!