6 May-Orientation, Xi’an City Wall and Fountain Show

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This morning we had our orientation at 10am, which meant it wasn’t worth trying to go anywhere so we did important stuff like washing. Got an overview of what will be happening in the next 2 weeks and v1 of our timetable. After a yummy lunch we headed off into town to attack the city wall. we all jumped on the 205, which is 2 yuan each and went into the centre of the city. We headed for one of the walls. Walking through the street is like walking through times square but you have trees, steel posts, motorbikes and every third person with an umbrella all on the footpath. Eventually we hit the East wall. We walked around the entire opening to the east wall looking for a way up. After about 1/2 hour we decide we have to run the gauntlet of traffic to the centre to the tiny opening in the gate. After we make it across grab our tickets and head up the wall.

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It’s a stark contrast when you get up the top of the wall. It’s quiet, not many people, a nice breeze – all quite pleasant really. It is a pretty cool wall as you wander around you can see how the city has outgrown the wall, old meeting new and consuming it.

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There’s bikes for hire along the wall which looked pretty fun, pity I didn’t persist with the whole trying to learn thing.

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We wandered over the South gate and headed down just in time for a guard-drum display.

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Wandered back to the centre of town and eventually found our bus, jumped on and it started heading north, then east. Seeing how we wanted to be getting to the South West we had a bit of a “oh crap” moment and jumped off the bus and found the next cab to take us back to the accommodation. Turns out we were on the correct bus but I didn’t fancy ending up in whoop whoop trying to find a cab and being late for dinner.

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After dinner we headed out on the K5 to the Big Goose Pagoda to watch the fountain show. It was packed with people, all trying to get a good view of the 1/2 hour long fountain show light show. No chance of getting good pictures with the tripod so we had to hand hold them above people’s heads.

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After it was all over took a few photos of the area all lit up before looking for a cab. There were 100’s of cabs…all full. The couple we managed to hail didn’t want to take us back the apartment. We decided to try and find the bus back. The area the bus was in was all under construction and we couldn’t find the stop even though we’d seen a bunch of k5’s pass us. After an hour of wandering I finally managed to hail cab. Best 15 yuan I’ve ever spent.

Tomorrow morning we pack up and head over to the panda reserve.