Wednesday, October 3, 2007

On the Xi'An Wall

We went to the south gate today, pictured below, and climbed up to the top of the wall.  The wall surrounds the city and is 14km in circumference.  It's about 50 meters wide at the base and about 15 meters wide at the top - perfect for a stroll, after you pay your 40 quai per person to go up there!

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... going through the South Gate up to the wall.

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This little girl was all dressed up and ready to come up onto the wall for people to take pictures of her for a price!

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... and here we are up on top of the wall!  Today was slightly drizzly and smoggy, but it was a really nice walk up on the wall!  The kids really enjoyed running around up there, and they received lots of attention!

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These people were dressed up and I took their picture from a ways away, unbeknownst to them!  They came up later on and told me I could take a picture of them for 10 yuan.  I told them no thank you, since I already had their pictures :). 

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Here are the 3 warriors getting ready to fire some cannon balls at their enemies.

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Jack bought a little clay hedge-hog type animal.  I was surprised he liked it but it was only a few quai.

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Some lanterns that bordered one side of the wall.

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This little boy was so cute that I had to get a picture of him!  He enjoyed watching our white faces pass by.

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These girls were brave to do this picture.  There's a 40 foot drop on the other side of them.  Peter and Jack wanted to do this shot and I said NO WAY!

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Jack sitting in an archery nock waiting to defend against all attackers.  The girl on the right reminded me SO MUCH of Sophie, although she's about 4 years old, she had Sophie's energy!  She ran and ran and RAN and Sophie had a good time chasing her.

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The brother and sister expended a lot of energy chasing their little sister around, too!

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This girl was taken with Sophie and the boys so we got her picture.

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One of the big attractions on top of the wall is the rental of bicycles to ride on it.  The boys were thrilled to find a tandem bicycle, and I rented a third although mine was so junky I couldn't keep up with them!  Unfortunately those were the last 2 bicycles so 2 of us were walking following the bicycles.

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Here are the boys going off into the (smog?  I prefer to say mist.)

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Sue and Sophie took a turn to ride with Peter.  The boys were good to circle back to to check on us.

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Here are Sue and Sophie trying to keep up!

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The red star of China on a far away rooftop!

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Sue used the single seater with Sophie for awhile.  I wonder if she could talk on her cell-phone too?

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Peter and Jack making a turn on the wall, and a look through another nock to the taxis and busses below.

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Sue switched Sophie to the back, and Sophie held on tight to Sue as she was precariously balanced on the back, and promptly fell asleep!

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Jack loved the plastic rain poncho I bought him, and then the 3 kids worked on their tactics for how to scale the city wall.

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As we descended the wall, we happened upon a nice little shopping area with lots of chotskys for the kids.

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I'm so impressed with the kids - when they see something they want they walk right up and start right in on the bargaining - yes in Chinese!  They never have a thought about being shy!

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This guy was blowing air into a sugar mixture to make these cool little animals - mostly pigs since it is the Year of the Pig.

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These little girls saw this big American with big camera so they struck a pose.  They were so cute!

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Sue bought Jack a treat of a banana soaked in caramelized sugar.  The hot bowl of sugar is shown below boiling away.

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Jack loved the sticky mess of course!

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Some calligraphy brushes for sale...

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This is the typical squatting position that is built into the Chinese body frame.  I certainly can't do it very long but the Chinese can do it for hours!  Sophie does it and it's such a natural position for her.






The store window for a wedding shop had live mannequins!   This couple drew quite a crowd, and were of course adorned with pigs.  The bride's bouquet was made up of stuffed-animal pig heads instead of flowers.

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Bob & Amy said...

Thrilled to see you in jackets - it must be a first! Glad you had fun on the wall. Very cool day!

Pandora said...

Good post.