Thursday, July 16, 2009

Xi'an Day 1

After arriving in Xi'an via the overnight train, we checked into our hotel and took much-needed showers before heading to a Muslim temple. It was hot, and we decided not to climb to the top. But the grounds were very pretty.

We did a little shopping near the temple, and Rachel tried her hand at bartering. Most stalls and some shops we visited expect you to barter. Our guides told us to try to get sellers to a third of their original price. Rachel was pretty successful at doing this. I was proud of her. In this picture we were buying a package of chopsticks. I forget what the price was, but it wasn't much.
After the temple we went to an art institute where we learned about different art styles found in China, such as papercutting and paintings done by farmers. The girls then had a calligraphy lesson and we did a little shopping. There was a painting there of two children that I fell in love with, but just couldn't justify spending a couple hundred dollars for a painting that I didn't have any room for in my home.

For lunch we were treated to dumplings, or jiaozi, a specialty of Xi'an. Some of the dumplings were shaped like pandas, some like flowers. They were pretty and delicious! Most of our meals in China were served family style. The kids (8 girls) would be at one round table, and the grownups, (9), would be at another. Each table had a lazy susan on it, and the guides took care of ordering food for us. There were many selections placed on the lazy susan, and you helped yourself to whatever you wanted. Rice and some kind of soup was served at every meal. The flower shaped dumplings at this lunch had some kind of peanut filling. Most of the time the dumplings had pork in them. Sometimes there were mushrooms inside, too.

Coming up in the next post....the Terracotta Warriers!

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