Monday, March 31, 2014

Xi'an

The week leading up to Spring Break found us messing around a bit with XO. Asking if she wanted to go visit Xi'an would result in a puzzled expression. What do you mean, go and visit? As Monday approached, our excitement rose a bit. This would be our first trip since arriving in China and we were ready to get moving and see how the girls would do. They both decided to sleep in on the day we needed to get an early start but quickly sensed that something was up as we scooped them out of bed and into the waiting car. In less than 20 minutes, we were walking across the airport floor in search of a ticket counter. Game on!

The flight was a short one and we then had a surprisingly long journey from the airport into the heart of Xi'an. Traffic was relatively light but it took over an hour to get in. We found a nice spot to stay for the week within a short walk of the Drum Tower and Muslim Quarter.

Drum Tower with beautiful blue skies as a back drop.
We wandered about the Muslim Quarter for quite a bit, sampling different foods and seeing all of the people heading about. Spring Break is not nationally celebrated so crowds were quite low which gave us front row views of some fun happenings. Such as...

Scooter-meat delivery


The pounding out of a peanut-based sugar-rich snack. A peanut mixture served as the base material

It then received quite the beating to get formed into ultra-thin sheets of goodness.

Typically, Xi'an has relatively poor air quality and it could be due to the constant burning of coal in the area. We lucked out - was it great wind or the recent Michelle Obama visit that cut back on local production? Here, street vendors cook it up hot! (Coal on the street and flames shooting out of the vent.)



Every drum tower needs a bell tower and here is Xi'an's, located in the middle of a busy intersection. All in all, we scored big on the air quality with so-so mornings giving way to clear and warm afternoons.


Late afternoon naps allowed us to stay out a bit past normal bed times. Here, the girls sample a summer-like evening of ice cream cones as they gaze at the lights on the drum tower.