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Sunday, 29 May 2011



A Chinese style building on top of a tower block! I bet this is worth a bomb, and can only imagine the views from there

As I mentioned in my last blog, we travelled to Xi’an on the overnight train. We travelled on the best train in the best sleeper compartments!! There are two kinds of sleepers on the Chinese trains, hard sleepers and soft sleepers. The hard sleepers consist of 4 bunks in an open compartment, and are probably as described – hard! The soft sleepers consist of 4 bunks in a compartment which has a door that can be closed and locked! As we were 3 ladies and we didn’t fancy sharing our sleeping arrangements with just anyone we opted to pay for the fourth bunk, which was a good idea. The seats/beds are upholstered in cream material with lace edged cotton antimacassar tops, very nice! The journey took 12 hours but we were kept fortified by the frequent visits of the trolley, Chinese beer is very nice!!


The South gate of the city wall

This part of our holiday was the only part where we had a tour guide, so we were met at Xi’an Railway station by Sindy, a lovely young Chinese lady, who was a really great guide. We were taken to our hotel which was inside Xi’ans City walls, and Sindy left us to have a day to ourselves. The hotel was new, and Very Big! It was so big that I realized you could fit the Library where I work into the foyer....more about that later!


On top of the Gatehouse, my daughter taking her own photos Smile


Yes, its a rubbish bin!!


Behind the South Gate, on our way to climb the city wall.



Amazing wall hangings in the South Courtyard.

We decided to visit Xi’ans city walls, so we took a taxi into the centre of the city. Xi’an is not as big as Beijing, but the traffic is equally as bad! Apparently they are building an underground system, but every time they start to dig they find another tomb. The day before we arrived they had found a tomb with a wicker basket filled with Chinese medicine. Finds like this obviously stop the work, so I wonder when Xi’an will finally get its underground system!



On the city wall



Buildings below the wall inside the city.

Xi’an city wall is 8 miles long and is the most complete city wall in China. It was built in the Tang dynasty and extended at a later date. It is surrounded by a moat and it is 40 feet high, and the same in width. Sindy told us that the mortar holding the wall together was made of mud, nuts, apple juice and orange juice. It must have been a good combination as the wall is just magnificent!






Modern and ancient!


We entered by the South Gate, and had a wonderful stroll along part of the wall in the blazing hot sunshine. Wonderful! We had read that there was going to be a Military Display in the South Gate courtyard, but we thought it was going to be a modern military display, not the Terracotta Warriors come to life! We watched the display from the top of the wall, where we had a great view. Once the warriors had finished their display the girls and their drums did their display, which was amazing.


A painted building, painted all over!


The Warriors in the Courtyard






Display over we treated ourselves to ice creams, coffee and frappuccinos in the cafe built into the wall, where it was lovely and cool – bliss.





Back to the hotel where we had an early night in readiness for the following days excursion, a visit to the Terracotta Warriors!! Guess what the next blog will be about?


Part of the moat, outside the city walls.


A carving on the bridge over the moat.


  1. it's all so beautiful! the architecture is just awesome. even their trash bins are works of art! :)

  2. Wow Poppy wonderful the architecture is truly amazing I love the shaped roofs. The trash can is shall I say very beautiful. Colours galore painting on the buildings . Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience Hugs Sheila xx

  3. What a fantastic experience Poppy, to see pictures was lovely, but to have seen it 'in the flesh' must have been awesome, there is a wealth of interest there, from the painted building, to the trash cans to the drummers, simply wonderful, I will come back for another look again, thank you so much for opening another world to us. Why didn't you photograph the sleepers? I'd like to have seen them too.

  4. Arlene, I think my daughter has a photo of the sleeper, but she hasn't sent me her photos yet!I do have some photos taken out of the train window on the journey back to Beijing which I like, they will be in a blog soon :) Really glad everyone is enjoying the photos, it takes me a long time to do the blogs because I edit each photo, just to try to get them to look as good as possible.

  5. Poppy, the photos are awesome, love everyone of them. You have done and excellent job. Can't wait to see more.

  6. I'm on catch up at the moment, and it's been a spectacular collection of blogs you've left here to go through. Outside the expected chinese things, the flowery building here is a delight, your ceilings from a few blogs ago, pandas and pink blossoms. So many lovely things.