Monday, June 30, 2008

Pingyao

day 8
our 2nd day in pingyao was much slower pace and instead of walking we took a couple bikes around for the day. we started by going to the train station to buy our next night's train to xian. daphna did it by herself and she got confirmation that they were the right tickets after she bought them. great seats too! we stopped at a noodle stand and shared another bowl of wantuzen. then, since daph needed a new shirt and with some really hard bargaining she got a nice shirt for super cheap. if you don't agree to their price and try walking out of the store they grab you by the wrist and offer you their next price. we had several more pingyao sites to visit and had some trouble with navigating the tiny streets on our bikes. basically, we can blame it on the map. the rest of the afternoon we hung out at the hostel and posted pictures for your enjoyment. there was the usual evening shower and a beautiful cool night.

day 9
this morning we were back on our early schedule. jumped on our bikes again after a makeshift breakfast of bread and jam, and rode 7 km to Shuanglin Temple. It took us around 30 minutes and the crossing of the streets among big trucks, little trucks, tricycles, mopeds, dirtbikes, and other bikes like ours made our ride very fun. our small bells made no impact in traffic. the temple was ok at best but the ride was nice and we took a back road and did some exploring on the way back. we stopped for provisions at the supermarket in preparation for our train. pingyao is known for its BEEF. so we bought a package of beef and the next morning had it for breakfast. it was very tasty and surprisingly yummy. for lunch we had a pancake with fried egg and veggies for first round and then we tried a noodle dish in the next stand. we finished touring the northern edge of the city and went back to the hostel. the manager and now our friend bob, allowed us to keep the room until our night train. i played a little badminton with his nephew and we had our first western food in china. french fries. we got our bags ready to go and the entire hostel staff and family gave us a warm sendoff. the whole family including the 3 managers and their kids waving us away, and as a gesture, they gave us a couple of free waters for the trip. the train station was it's usual self. locals with 3 or 4 gigantic rice bags full of their clothes and stuff. our train was due to arrive at 11pm and supposedly would take 12 hours. the train didn't arrive until 12:45 am and we arrived in Xian at 8:30ish. who knows? xian here we come...

mey

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