Today was our last morning in Beijing-we were going to travel by speed train to Xi’an today. It was a little bittersweet when we woke up-we were excited to be able to experience another city in China, but sad at the same time that a few of our friends would not be there to join us because they had unfortunately fallen ill. As I packed my bags and ventured out into the 6:30 am sun of Beijing, I could not help but reminisce on all of the beautiful sights I had seen in the past few days, and thought to myself that I hoped I would be able to come back one day.
As we traveled on the bus to the train, I could not help but think that wow-we are going to be traveling on a speed train today! In my mind, I had imagined a completely different train structure, as I was used to in India, but the speed train was so much more different and sleek. I loved how you could see the beautiful scenery zip by, and I enjoyed looking out and seeing the view. Since I did not eat much in the morning, I was feeling a bit queasy throughout the entire ride, but vowed to not let that stop me in pursuing the days adventures.
As we got out of the long train ride into the city, it was such a different landscape. The buildings were a little smaller, there were not as many people on the streets, and there was a certain family type, little less rush paced vibe on the streets. The hotel that we were in in Xi’an was simply beautiful, and we all enjoyed settling in and freshening up to visit the Drum Tower and Muslim Quarter.
As we walked to the Drum Tower, I could not help but think how much this place reminded me of India’s Sarojini streets. There was so much hustle and bustle on the road, and so many people and cars trying to squeeze on one side of the street. I loved how there were so many different people, sights, and smells, and our tour guide was very adept in explaining what was happening to us. I enjoyed seeing many different sights and sounds, and was looking forward to coming here again in the next few days! We walked past a school, as well as many different homes on top of the stores.
As we walked through the Muslim Quarter, we ate a dumpling buffet dinner. I was so excited that they took the time to make the dumplings vegetarian and in the same shape as the others so that I could enjoy it as well-thank you!! At the Drum Tower, I remember sharply seeing a clear blue sky. Being so highup in the air and seeing how old cultural sites mixed with urban development was a treat, and I enjoyed the beautiful architecture. As we headed back to the hotel, we explored it a bit and played table tennis. I also realized just how bad I am at ping pong. Tomorrow was going to be a busy day, and I was excited to see how the rest of our Xi’an trip would shape.