Xi’an Day 2

Today we went with the whole group together to the South Gate of the city wall. Everyone rent a bike and we circled on top of the wall. At the beginning it was nice and the little breeze felt refreshing, but later it got really hot. It was almost unbearable and I was sweating so much, that my hat dissolved into two pieces. We recovered in a nice cool coffee shop that served excellent Julius Meinl coffee from Austria.

In the afternoon some went to the museum and I went with a group to the bazaar. I found a new hat and a few souvenirs and then we went to a fish spa. It was my first time and I was sceptical, but they convinced me. The fish were big, and after a first shock and giggles it was tickling but felt ok and when it was finished, the feet felt light.

Since we got tired, we took again the tuktuk back to the hotel and I had a rest. In the evening eight of our group were welcomed by the director of our hotel, the Grand Dynasty Culture hotel, North Luo, in the lobby. Philippe had made reservations for a special “baozi dinner” and a show at the theatre which is attached to the hotel.

We all had never seen such creative beautiful dumplings which tasted heavenly. North led through the dinner and explained all 12 varieties of baozi and at the end the cook came to say hello.

Then we went to the Grand Theater with North to see the Legend of the Monkey King, a classical piece set up as a music and dance show. The story is taken from a classical Chinese book and tells the journey of the Monkey King (Sūn Wùkōng) to the West (India) with the mission to get the holy Buddhist scriptures for his emperor. The legend takes place in the 7th Century during the blooming Silk Road time. The Monkey King is a supernatural creature, born out of a rock conceived by the wind, created by pure heavenly essences, nice fragrances of the earth, the power of the sun and the grace of the moon. The choreography of this show was very powerful and sometimes chaotic for our understanding. The young artists were flying on ropes through the scenes, dancing, running and doing acrobatic performances. It was colourful and the music was loud. At the end of the show, the director  invited us to join the artists on stage and it was nice to talk to some of them.

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