Holidays Our little holiday diary

China Part Three

Part Three:

Day 7. Eric’s 70th birthday. Packed up again for flight to Xian. Got stopped from leaving the boat at the last minute because there was a mix up with our cabin key. It got quite heated.... when our tour guide stepped in to “help” us, she made it worse. We did get an apology after about half an hour when they realised it wasn’t our fault. Phew! It seemed that their interpretation of sink and ours was totally different.

On the way to the airport we had a trip to a zoo and saw giant panda’s. Mary had her photo taken whilst standing next to one and stroking its head. We were told they show panda’s animal porn films and give them Viagra ‘cos mating doesn’t come easily (excuse another pun) to them. That’s why they are very rare. True or not, who knows? Sounds familiar!! While we were there, a young lady approached me, asking if I would pose for a picture with some Chinese school children. Because I'm quite tall (6ft 4ins) and I have a big nose, the children were fascinated by me. I of course was very happy to pose with them.

We had a very quick visit to old town, interesting to see a dentist working in a roadside kiosk. It was pouring down, obviously, so we couldn’t linger, then on to another bloody museum. Flew to Xian, another four hours of travelling. We went to a State Opera House for a very good show before which we were ushered upstairs to the restaurant for a meal comprising solely of dumplings of every conceivable flavour. Yuk!!  David and Mary organised (along with the tour guide) for the orchestra and choir to sing “happy birthday” just for Eric, followed by a beautiful tasting cake. Eric had a great 70th. We found our suitcases split very badly from the flight; Eric is convinced someone was out to rob us. (Of dirty washing I presume).

 

Day 8. Trip to Wild Geese Pagoda, very Chinese, then on to Hot Springs Temple, Chiang Kai-shek (an early Chinese statesman) used to live there. There were lots of monks praying in the monastery, it was a very pretty place. On to The Terracotta Army, however, not much of the army left, more like a platoon. There are not as many soldiers as everyone seems to imagine, although they are working hard to restore what they can. We overheard differing explanations from various tour guides as to why there was so much damage. The general opinion seems to be that when they first opened up the burial ground, the digging caused parts of the roof to fall in and damaged a lot of the warriors. There is a lot of restoration work going on to get the Warriors back to their former glory. The guide had us there for a very long three hours, could have done it in half an hour. Diane didn’t like it too much but Eric was fascinated by it all. It must be said that the main hall is huge and there were other smaller halls as well. There may even be other burial grounds in the local neighbourhood. It would be easy for us to pinch lots of information about this unique area from the internet but we feel that would be cheating. All in all, quite a hectic day, but very enjoyable. We got back reasonably early so managing to unwind a little before evening meal, drinkies and bed.

If you fancy Part Four you can go there now.

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