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.