We got back from our 5 day visit to the city of Xian on thursday it was a really nice place with lots to see.We left Beijing the previous friday evening it took me over 1.5 hours to drive to the main railway station in west beijing it was getting dark with heavy rain and the friday night holiday rush hour traffic and to add to all that we took 2 wrong turns i ended up just being a beijing driver and cut across 3 lanes of traffic to get to the other side waving my arm out of the window at everyone (It worked) I have now realized there is no such thing as lane markings they are just there for guidance haha.
We arrived in Xian at 9am Saturday after a 13 hour train ride we were in a 4 bed compartment but jun and I had the top bunks but managed to get the bottom ones for the return journey.
We went out every day visiting the sights or walking around the city and on an evening we went to an amazing massage centre we found the second night we were served tea in our own massage room while having a foot bath followed by 90 minutes of massage Ah bliss!
We visited a archaeological site of a 6,000 year old village of a group of people named Ben Po it was full of pots and urns with skeletons of babies inside as well as skeletons of adults and the artefacts they had been buried with,the whole village had been built over to protect it.We also of course visited the famous teracotta tombs it is a really big place, very touristy but still worth seeing it's hard to believe that so much could be created and buried it makes you think how much more is still buried they know where the emperor qin shi huang's tomb is located but apparently don,t yet have the means to unearth it all and keep it preserved as it covers a huge area.The farmer who discovered the teracotta warriors when digging for a well was paid £4 by the gov,t at the time 1973 and later when he became a bit of a celebrity and was asked to sign a book for the french president the gov,t were embarressed when he couldn,t write so they taught him.Now the strange thing was he was there the day we were there, signing books I took a photo of him then spotted the sign saying no photographs to late, but then a young woman with a child tried to get her child photographed next to him and gave him some money he looked at the amount maybe about £1 and with a complete look of arrogant scorn threw it on the floor and turned back to signing the books and ignored her.
Another day we took a bus upto the mountains then took a cable car upto the top it went straight up a sheer face into the clouds so at the top you couldn,t see down,poor Jun was terrified of the ride up and wanted to walk back down there was a small taoist temple at the top and a small building were you could stay overnight plus a couple of cafes.
I was stood on the top looking out when a chinese man appeared from over the edge climbing onto the platform and when i went over and looked down he had been stood on a bamboo scaffold fixing some electric wires no safety harness or anything crazy.
The best day was when we took 2 boneshaker buses out to the villages at the base of the chinling mountains the mountains are famous for the Buddhist and Taoist hermit monks/nuns who live in them,we walked up through 2 villages to the base and visited a small Buddhist temple that had 10 monks living there.The villagers were really friendly and laughed at my attempts to speak to them the little children kept sneaking up to look at me then giggle and get all embarressed and run away,as we were walking back down going a different way through the village i spotted some old cave dweller homes (I have been hoping to find some for ages) they were locked up but when we spoke to 2 teenage boys who were passing one of them said he used to live in one till he was six and ran off to get the key from his grandparents but the lock was to rusty to open but i got to photograph them.