Today, Friday Oct 5, we visited the Xi'an Great Mosque, a mosque that was started around 742 AD (1265 years ago!!) during the Tang dynasty, and was renovated or expanded by the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. It covers a total area of about 4 acres!
Jack wanted saw this pot on the grounds and saw an immediate chance. "Dad, we can make an optical illusion!" So, here is Jack, "in" the pot.
Sue, exploring the mosque.
Some of the fabulous carving that can be seen in the eves of some of the buildings.
Jack and Sophie, striking a pose in front of one of the mosque buildings.
Sophie was delighted to find this little black Muslim kitty (a member of the Black Panthers?) that didn't mind being manhandled. Sophie loved picking her up and carrying her around by her mid-section! The cat didn't seem to mind!
Part of the stone memorial gateways...
The building called the Miaret...
It seems like even the smallest parts of the buildings here are so ornately decorated!
After the relative peacefulness of the Mosque, we went back out on the street where opportunities to separate you from your cash abounded! Jack found a little watch in a crystal for 500 yuan (about $65 US), and he bargained it down to 90 yuan (about $12 US) and after all of that hard work he decided he no longer wanted it!
Sophie entertained herself by playing with an alarm clock that these English-speaking shopkeepers had for sale, and they enjoyed playing with her although we didn't buy anything from them.
We found some nice Soviet / communist looking playing cards, including some Sadaam Hussein playing cards! Nice.
Here's Sue bargaining for a shirt. It's kind of fun but very exhausting bargaining all of the time! It seems you can usually get items for about 50% off of the price they first start with, maybe more if you are willing to walk away. A couple of times we were chased down by the merchant with her calculator in hand, as she was able to shave off a bit more!
A small side street in the Islamic district where everything was for sale! Jack and Peter kept looking at crossbows, throwing stars, tasers, switchblades and other weaponry to which Dad said "no, No, and NO!"
Back onto a main street now and the crowds were horrific! Since all of China has this National Day week off, we are running into Chinese tourists that have also made Xi'An their destination. I had to muscle my way in for this shot of this man pulling a peanut-brittle like taffy. It was delicious!
The throngs of people - cabs would drive through here about every 3 minutes, making quite a honking commotion!
All kinds of nuts, seeds and dried fruits for sale. Everything is sold by the "jin" or 1/2 kilo.
We stopped for lunch at a place with a foosball table. I played the boys and this Chinese guy watched for awhile until I asked for his help in beating my boys.
We've had a great time in Xi'an but we've been constantly on the go so we're ready to go back to our apartment in Hangzhou where meals are easier and where it will be a bit more relaxing. We get on the plane tomorrow morning to go back "home".