May. 30th, 2010

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When I left off, it was Wednesday and we were arriving in Xi'an. (Here is a tiny bit of background info about Xi'an! It used to be the capital, way the heck a long time ago, and there are a lot of old things there! Okay, here is a little bit more background info about Xi'an, with my guidebook at hand so I can be sure I'm not messing things up: Xi'an is very near the capital of the Qin dynasty, which was the first dynasty and only really had one emperor, but since he unified the country and built the Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors he gets to be a dynasty all by himself. That was a couple hundred years BC. Xi'an was the capital off and on for the next thousand years. There is, consequently, a lot of really really old stuff in Xi'an, and it's better-preserved than the old stuff in many other cities.)

It's strange to start a day by tumbling off a train into an unfamiliar station instead of, oh, taking a shower and having some tea. But once we found the taxi queue and got to our hotel we did all the usual morning things, and then, fortified with showers and oolong, we Set Out to See Xi'an!

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