Monday, December 16, 2013

xi'an, that's pronounced shiy-an

Our next stop was the city of Xi'an. It is the ancient capitol of China and is about a twelve hour train ride from Beijing. We took a sleeper train, so most of the time we slept but in the morning we got to see the sights on our way into Xi'an.

For a country as large as China, you would think that you would see a lot of open land, but that doesn't seem to be the case. For hours this is what it looked like, farms with tall buildings in the background. I don't think there's anywhere in China where you're out of sight of a building over ten stories - or pollution.

The old part of Xi'an is a walled city and we were staying within the walls.

We lucked out and got a place right in the heart of the city with its most iconic building right across the street. It's called the Bell Tower and is kind of like the Big Ben of China. During the day, it's alright looking, but at night when it lights up, it's spectacular.

We were also very close to Xi'an's famous Muslim Quarter. Xi'an was the beginning of the historic Spice Road, so it has quite a large Muslim population and after a week of Chinese food, we were ready for a little Muslim food: good old bread and potatoes.

Even on a Wednesday, the Muslim Quarter is pretty crowded.
While exploring the city, we ran across the fanciest Burger King we had ever seen, so we had to stop in.

It is kind of sad to say, but we were still on a once a day Subway Restaurant routine. One Chinese meal a day was all our stomachs could take, so the other one would inevitably be Subway (it never hurts to Eat Fresh). When we leave China, we need to go to Subway Corporate Headquarters and give them our report about how they're doing in China.

Subway, we love you!
But really can you blame us? Look at the food you get, even at convenient stores. From left to right, that's pickled chicken legs, pig's snout, cow tongue, chicken feet & chicken gibblets. This is normal Chinese junk food.


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