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Xian day 1

Headed to Xian today with Aiyun. Taking an overnight train as an alternative to flying. Excited for a different type of trip. Spent a bit more for the "Super Deluxe Soft Sleeper" option. Choosing this weekend for the trip because the following week starts the mid autumn festival and travel during that week is a bit nuts. Getting train tickets becomes a serious challenge. I've got a bit of travel during the mid autumn festival and every train ticket I've tried to purchase has been sold out leading to some scrambling to find a seat.

Xian is one of the top travel destinations in China. Its about 1000 miles inland and considered "western" China even though it's not even half way across the country. It's most famous for the terra-cotta warriors, but it's also known for the food in its Muslim sector. I've heard a lot about their variations on lamb. I'm super excited for some new meals.

Our small private cabin wasn't anything special. Two bunks, a small table and a chair. This is on one of the old green trains, not a bullet train. "Deluxe soft" was still like sleeping on plywood with thin padding, but we both slept fine.

We played cribbage. Mike will be glad to know she skunked me in our first game. After waking up we had breakfast in the dining car. It was a tray with veggies (carrots, celery, and some other crisp veggie like parsnip), a hard boiled egg, and a bun. The veggies were super fresh and just chopped up. They always have a bit of a spicy oil on the carrots and celery. Have to be careful not to bite into one of the chili bits because they're super spicy hot.

After we arrived at our hotel we were way too early to check into our room, but they let us use another room to take a shower and get cleaned up. I didn't know it, but I guess I'm a Hilton member. Special perks? Is it just the usual American special treatment? It maybe they do this for everyone? Hmmm.

Finally, Aiyun posed in the lobby again. It's her thing now. Which was the better picture? I couldn't decide...

I liked the first one better, but poor lighting. I tried to brighten it up, but I'm not great at that sort of photo editing.

Off to check out Xian...

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