City Walls: A Visit to Xi’an

Before our trip to Xi’an gets lost in the smog of memory, I should probably share more of it with you.

We saw all the touristy things, of course, and many of them were really neat. My favorite, I think, was the city wall.

The wall of the city has been there since 1370, and is, apparently, one of the oldest Chinese city walls. It’s absolutely enormous, too. It’s about 39 feet tall and 50-60 feet thick (I know! 60 feet is huge!). The neatest thing about it is that you can rent a bike and ride all the way around the top of the wall, which provides a great view of the rest of the city.

So without further ado, I present you with pictures of the city wall.

The elephant things are in preparation for the Chinese New Year.
One of the guardhouses over a gate.
An archway inside.
Jared, for scale.
On top of the city walls.
King of the world.

Because the air quality was so bad, we wore masks the entire time. Have you ever worn a mask in a humid place? It’s awful–the water collects inside and starts dripping down your shirt front. So, be thankful for your clean air–and keep it that way!

Stylish, huh?

Actually, a lot of Chinese now wear masks for fashion statements. They say it enhances their mystique or something. Should I bring this trend back to the States?

Looking down on the moat. See how bad the smog is?
Another moat picture.
The wall at night. They light it up really prettily.
People come out every night and dance in the parks.
They have the nicest park around the city wall.

Oh, and we rode a bicycle built for two around it, and Jared made me sing “Bicycle Built for Two” the whole way around the wall. But I didn’t want to make you all feel jealous of our mad cycling skills, so we failed to get a picture. Actually, for some reason it’s really hard to take a picture of yourself on a bicycle. So you won’t be able to see us on our bright yellow bicycle going crazy fast with no hands. (Don’t worry–it freaked me out. Just ask Jared).

This visit seems to be taking up a lot of blog space, so maybe NEXT time I’ll finish it up and get on with the boring pictures.

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