China Blog 2011

Guilin...and IPad is DEAD

Update on Guilin. A lovely 3 days with superior guide, Julie! We just meshed so well and her English is beyond perfect. Li River cruise as lovely as I had hoped 24 years ago when I didn't get to go on it. Lots of shadowy, foggy mountains.

Train: 28 hours on a train Guilin to Xi'an. Had three fun roomies for the night -- 2 young female college students who spoke English, one in TV, one in law. The other a 40ish woman, Chinese herbal medicine. We laughed and had fun until I slumped asleep in my seat, exhausted. They covered me with a quilt and I slept all night! They left at 7 a.m. and I had car to myself allll day till 8 p.m. Loved reading, napping, had my own food, so a great break.

Xi'an. Eric is my guide here. Saw Terra Cotta Army again after 24 years! You can get much closer now and walk all around it, AND take pictures. Couldn't do any of that in 1987. They had just opened in 1979 I learned, so it was fairly new then. Also went to prehistoric, 5000-6000 BC Banpo dig. Both places in gorgeous huge buildings, very well documented and laid out. And I was blessed: almost NO tourists this rainy day!! I want to find out how old Scara Brae was in Orkney to compare.

Then the day went downhill...Eric took me to a park and the rain got heavy then a less than interesting stop at a copy of Emperor's underground palace which put us in 5 p.m. traffic, for 2 hours! Exhausted, but had a bottle of red wine and a burger (those who were on HEE trip know how much that meant!) in my room.