Greetings from the city of Xian!
Sorry i have not updated in a while i have not really had the time to use the computer, we only have 3 screens here and they are always busy. I have some photos to upload but you will have to wait a little while im afraid!!!!!
This is my last day in Xian today i arrived on the 11th after a 15 hour train from Beijing. I head off today for another 10 train trip to Kaifeng, where i will see my friend and enjoy new years celebrations.
Before i speak about Xian, i'll let u all know how i got on in the capital city.
I must say i loved Beijing a lot it had so many things to see and do i ended up staying a few days longer to try and get all the key sites in. Climbing the great wall, visiting Tiananmen square and the forbidden city, Mao's embalmed body, ming tombs, temples, hutongs (old school districts), the olympic park, summer palace, temple of heaven..all of this made up for an amazing stay and i really would recommend Beijing to all. I was braced for -40c weather but most days i didn't even wear gloves the weather was so sunny!!!!
Ryan decided to pack it all in early and headed back from Beijing so i am now doing all of this on my own, which i although i was comfortable with this, i was unsure how it would turn out.....enter Xian!!!!!!!
I remember sitting on the floor waiting for my train at Beijing station. I looked at my watch and saw the time back home was 8am and everybody was heading to work/uni etc, and here i was...sitting on the floor in a place where i was the subject of constant stares from fascinated onlookers, wondering who the hell this white man was and where he came from. Most people you find have only seen a westener on TV, so seeing me was something they had to make last and i even posted for a few pics with some kids!
I arrived in Xian and made my way to the hostel wondering if indeed, i would meet new people and i checked my bag in and headed out to see the City. Xian is a beautiful place and has some really nice streets, the muslim quarter is the highlight and i went there every night to soak up the atmosphere. I walked the entire length of the city wall and when i got back i wanted to go to sleep early, ended up meeting some cool people and stayed up drinking till 3am!!!!!! I then went to see the terracotta warriors which was cool (as you would imagine!).
The highlight of the whole trip came yesterday however. I got together with a few of the guys and we decided to visit Huashaun mountain. It proved to be an amazing adventure as we tried to make our way to the mountain via buses, trains, taxis, trekking etc. The climb was amazing the weather was so beautiful and the views were spectacular, the photos will hopefully show this. By the end of the day i was truly exhausted, but felt like i really had achieved something special and it is a day i will never forget!
All in all although i have only been here for a few days, Xian has proved to be the real travelling experience i have met so many people and gained a lot of new friends, some i will be meeting up with in the near future as our paths cross again.
I have to go now as i have to pack (seems as though as soon as i lay my bag down, i have to pick it up again!), and head off to the train station. My train trip is 10 hours STANDING on trains which you wouldn't believe how packed they are if i told u.....say a pray for me!
Hopefully i will be able to update from Kaifeng and put up a few pics.
P.S. Thanks for all the messages i have received i hope everyone is well, to all the Tracy clan i enjoy reading the emails....Laura & Delia your gonna love travelling! Hopefully we can all meet up in OZ.