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Location: Xi An

 

This morning we awoke on the train around 8h in the morning and descended to meet our tour guide, Daniel, in Xian. We took an hour break to get situated in our hotel rooms, clean up, and shower, before heading out to the city wall of Xian, where we all rented tandem bikes and rode around the city for about two hours. Olivia and Rachel paired up and biked ahead of the rest of us, Catherine and Chris rented a bike together, except Chris ran the whole length of the wall instead of biking. Mollie and I took a while to get on the bike without falling, and Mom and Dad (Evan and Colleen, still respectively) waited for us to get going before starting off too. We all took short stops every once in a while, and Mollie and I only crashed into one person! Before wiping out ourselves over a speed bump.

For lunch, we went to a fancy looking restaurant for Chinese buffet food and watched in fascination as two tables of Cantonese tourists played some virtual game on WeChat and erupted into bouts of evenly timed laughter.

Daniel took us to the Great Mosque of Xian and gave us a tour; with his commentary and Chris and Evan’s Arabic lesson in the background, the trip made for a very culturally enlightening experience, as well as entertaining. After this, we were released into the wild; that is to say, allowed to peruse the shops of Muslim Street.

Olivia and Rachel split off from the rest of us, and we all went shopping for different things, though we utilized our bargaining skills again. The three of us went into a foot salon place and tried the fish pedicure for ten minutes; it tickled a lot and it was a very strange experience. We also bought tiny (matching) fans that plugged into our phones, and some more snacks to share.

We all met back up at the hotel and hung out for a while and waited for Mom and Dad to return with dinner, which we ate in our hotel rooms, though not without spillage. We then had a free evening for the rest of the night.