2016 World Tour
Xi'an, China


October 14th to 20th, 2016

Xi'an is the most exotic place we've ever visited. Here we got exposure to mainstream Chinese people; their foods, customs and lifestyle. The streets of Xi'an were busy and chaotic and the food was really delicious. This was an experience we will never forget.

Below: Our hotel was upscale and served as a comfortable home-base as we launched ourselves into the city each day.

Xi'an, China

Below: Life on the streets of Xi'an is chaotic. Most large intersections have traffic lights but, when it's busy, they intentionally turn them off and let everyone fend for themselves. Traffic moves along faster this way but crossing the street becomes a death-defying act. Pedestrians in crosswalks have the lowest priorty.

Xi'an, China

Below: In the year 209 BC something amazing happened in Xi'an. Over 8,000 life-size warriors, horses and chariots were sculptured out of terracotta, and 40,000 metal weapons were made. These were all buried with the first emperor of China (to protect him in the afterlife). This enormous arts-and-crafts project was somehow forgotten until it was 'discovered' by a farmer digging a well in 1974. This is now a major archaeological site and museum.

Xi'an, China

Xi'an, China

Xi'an, China

The 'Silk Road' is an ancient trade route network used by the Chinese to exchange goods with the western world. It was used as early as 200 BC and stretched all the way to Rome. Ultimately, both goods and culture were traded between east and west which made this road hugely influential in world developement. Bill learned about the Silk Road in elementary school and was delighted to be able to walk on it in China.

Below: At it's termination in Xi'an, the Silk Road is a bustling marketplace. A lot of specialty foods are made and sold here. Animals are brought in by trike, then butchered, skewered on willow branches, and grilled while-you-watch.

Xi'an, China

Xi'an, China

Xi'an, China

Xi'an, China

Below: Stone-ground chili powder ... the old-fashioned way.

Xi'an, China

Below: Pounding candy by hand.

Xi'an, China

Below: At the Tang Dynasty Dinner Show, they told the story of ancient Chinese culture with music and dance.

Xi'an, China

Below: We rode a bicycle on top of the old city wall (8.7 miles around). There was a classic gold-roofed building inside the wall and modern apartment buildings outside; old meets new.

Xi'an, China

Xi'an, China

Xi'an was wonderful to visit and we're glad we chose this city. Very few people spoke English and we felt really far away from home ... which is exactly what we were hoping for!