Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Tuesday 19th October 2010

Woke this morning after a surprisingly uneventful night. We had ordered "room service" coffee. Sure enough coffee arrived on a tray to our compartment. British Rail sit up and pay attention! The train pulled in bang on time at 08,30. As usual there were all the touts at the station. Cath "encouraged" one who we promptly ignored. We reckon that we have stayed safe by ignoring touts and sticking to state taxis. However it turned out that the guy was a genuine employee of the tourist office sent to tout for business 'cos there wasn't much around.  We were taken to a dubious parking lot some 300 yds from the station and waited nearly 40 mins. The tourist rep stayed with us and kept apologising for the delay. Net result - cheap minibus to the hotel and hire of car and driver for the day to take us to see the Terracotta Warriors tomorrow.

Although we were really early we were able to check in to our rooms. Brill. Good choice. Large airy rooms with nice view. We had decided to pay extra for the view. Right move. After a shower and change we felt the need to celebrate our arrival in Xian - coffees all round? Not! We then headed out.

Donnie needed an atm so that was our first port of call. Food was next. Hmmm. Chicken but not as we know it Jim. They just love their chillies here. I was still being careful so didn't have much. We then went for a wander and found a street market selling all artists materials etc. Loads of interest including calligraphy, artists painting on tshirts, silk screens etc.

We were then attracted by this horrific noise. We're not sure how serious the guy took himself but it was yelling in the extreme, worthy of Beijing West railway station. We concluded he was mimicking some Chinese singer not known to us. The result was an indescribable assault on the ears.

He was followed by a female doing much the same thing. We have it on video 'cos you really would not believe anything so awful would be listened to by crowds.

We wandered aimlessly for a bit then of course needed a beer. It was beautiful sitting outside on comfy chairs watching the world go by. I sent Gillie a text and although it was 3.30 pm with us she felt it was a bit early for beer = 8.30 your time!
We were headed for the hotel via a bottle shop - for coke of course - when Donnie realised he had lost his jacket with his wallet in the pocket. Panic. The guys headed back to the cafe where Cath had removed her jacket from the rucksack. The organised "calm" me took Cath through the stages of the wallet's whereabouts and concluded that it was in the rucksack and that his jacket was still in the hotel. I'm sure you can all identify with the pounding heart and sick sick feeling. We met them back at the hotel. Donnie's wallet was in his pocket all along and his jacket was in their room. Need a drink to recover! Sitting having a post-mortem when Cath discovered she had lost her camera! No, it was in her handbag! Both "losts" had been found. Our turn next? Life is anything but uneventful. 


  1. This is just so much fun. I think I shall just stick to reading your blog and letting you have the experience. It's moments like that which remind my why I'm a boring old fart.

  2. Reading your blog I feel I am developing psychic abilities. I seem to know before even reading the latest post that beer will feature at least once!

  3. I'm so enjoying reading about your fabulous adventure! Have even convinced a girlfriend that if either of us win Lotto we are going to follow your footsteps.