Sunday, April 21, 2013

Xian City Wall

After seeing the terracotta warriors, we returned to the city. Nancy and the driver dropped us off in a section of the city, where an old Muslim market adjoins modern mall style shopping. And I couldn't help but notice a few of the many construction cranes off in the distance. Every city we visited in China appeared to be booming with the construction of residential highrise buildings.

We couldn't help but notice some of the American brands visible on the city streets. I wasn't surprised to see McDonald's since it has long aspired to world domination. What I was surprised about was the price for the meal shown in the pic - 15 Chinese yuan is equivalent to about $2.50. That's a cheap meal that will make you happy - I'm lovin' it!

I must admit I was surprised to see a DQ since I've always considered it a Texas-American south sorta franchise. I wish we would have had time to stop and check out the menu to see if it included steak finger baskets with country gravy.

I think spotting a Wal-Mart was an even greater shock. Sign of an impending apocalypse, maybe? Kinda makes me ill, this blatant spread of capitalism.

During our hour or so of free time, the senior wanted to check out the mall Nancy pointed out to us. It was interesting - a high rise building with multiple shops on each floor. But it was really different than what we are accustomed to in western malls. If you took a typical department store in a major US mall - Macy's or Dillard's - and divided each floor into at least 15 totally separate stores not separated by walls but merely partitions - then you would have a feel for the Chinese mall experience. 

The senior saw some cute clothes, reasonably priced, and opted to try them on. The sales girls take the item(s) off the hanger(s) and send you into the single dressing room in each little store. Unfortunately, the senior didn't find anything she liked... not from lack of trying. Plus she was taken aback that she had to get a size large to make things fit because she typically wears a small/medium in American and European clothing lines. Admittedly, her 5' 7.5" frame made her appear a bit Amazonian in comparison to the mostly petite Chinese women, so I guess that extends to the clothes, too.

After the husband and girls enjoyed McD's ice cream cones while I had a Coke Zero because the temps had warmed up to around 70 and I was parched in the sun, we reunited with Nancy to visit the city walls. Originally constructed in the second century BC, measuring 16 miles in length, it was really impressive. We drove through one of the gates, seen below, to an area with parking so we could take a stroll along the top of it.

I've seen city walls before in Europe, but nothing like this. We visited a watchtower and ramparts as we walked along the top of the wall. Shortened, but greatly improved upon in the 14th century during the Ming Dynasty, it currently stretches for a total of 9 miles.

The two pics above include that same sort of roof corner detail you see on old buildings in China. And below are the girls riding bikes on the top of the wall, a fun way to see the sights from on high while the husband and I snooped around some of the old structures on the wall.

No comments:

Post a Comment