RRY 02 - 24 - 2010

Today was our final day in Xian, and it was a much needed day to get caught up on some work and have a lot of fun doing some really interesting things. For about the sixth day in a row I woke up refreshed because China has had some very good sleeping conditions, namely the very large comfortable beds. After our breakfast we had a scheduled design charette which was much needed. Most everyone has been feeling the pressure of traveling and moving from place to place and this time was very valuable and gave most of us an opportunity to get a large amount of work done. It was a really good feeling to get some interaction from my peers and share ideas, and at the end of the charette I had some solid ideas and got quite a bit of work done. After the charette we went to a buffet lunch, everyone was very excited because for the past four days all our meals have been served on a lazy Susan, and figuring out how to ration food for a table of eleven is quite difficult. We all stuffed ourselves and then made our way to the wall of Xian. The wall is a large structure which surrounds the old part of the city. This was a very relaxing and fun trip as we were basically set free to do what we wanted, and of course we all chose to rent a bike and make the nine mile ride on top of the wall. All members of the group rented a bike (some had tandem bikes) and we all made the awesome but bumpy ride. It was very cool because we got to see the history of the city from atop the wall, all while having a great time riding bikes. Our final planned activity was to visit a Muslim mosque. We didnít have much time there, but I found the most interesting part to be the walk to the mosque. We walked down a small Muslim street in which everyone was out selling "authentic" goods. It was a fun street and everyone seemed to pick up some small little treasure after bargaining for a good deal. The day wasnít all fun and games as our final activity was making our way to the train station to head to Beijing. Since being in China I have been under the impression that the Chinese culture doesnít value lines or personal space, but after being at the train station I understand why. I have never seen so many people in one place, and in order for all 42 of us to get through we had to form a flying V and basically just push people out of the way. It was a very interesting experience and one that I only want to experience once as it was very hectic. We all made it safe and sound onto the train which was cramp, but even though the sleeping conditions arenít the greatest we are all very excited to get to Beijing. Xian was a blast and we got to see some very interesting things such as the terra cotta warriors, but we have seen pretty much all there is to see and I cant wait to experience Beijing.(the first image shows one of the best preserved terra cotta warriors, the second is a fun picture of us biking on top of the Xian wall)

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