Our first day in Xi’an was filled with new experiences and fun activities. Xi’an was the former capital of China and it boasts a rich history from the ancient world to the modern world. After an overnight train ride from Beijing, we hopped over to our hotel for breakfast and quick break to freshen before heading to the city wall. This ancient fortification stretched for an intimidating nine miles. Upon hearing that we had to bike nine miles around a wall after our very long train ride, most of us were nervous about completing the ride. Nevertheless, we got on our bikes and began to peddle. It was the perfect weather for our ride, and as we got our rhythm people’s grins started to grown and everyone was giggling at one point or another. I can imagine it would be strange for the people from Xi’an to see a bunch of American and English speaking high-schoolers racing across their city wall on bikes, but to us these types of adventures are becoming the usual. From The Great Wall to The Forbidden City we have managed to laugh through crazy long flights of stairs, cavernous archways and open thoroughfares.
The afternoon was spent at a large open-air market, where bargaining was a must. The smell of sweets, street meat, plastic toys, and spices filled the air. The market was called Muslim Street. We explored the market for over two hours, but it would take at least two days to see every nook and cranny. Some people went off to find food and a few went to go bargain for toys, and others went in search of places to take pictures. To be honest, the whole place was so breathtaking in a raw type of way that you didn’t need to look far for a place to photograph. The history behind the street was also interesting, while some Arab soldiers were helping an emperor build stronger weapons, they decided to stay and form a Muslim community. This led to a thriving Muslim population for a Chinese city. Once the new population settled, they started a market, which became the Muslim street market.
P.S. Sorry for the delay in picture additions, parents – our bloginator is currently experiencing technical difficulties. Check back soon for pictures!