Wednesday, 26 October 2011
Arrival in China
Today I landed in Xi'an city (from Manchester via Amsterdam and Beijing) at the start of an 'expedition' to look for giant pandas in the Qinling Mountains. I say expedition because it wouldn't be most people's idea of a holiday! (See later posts).
I was transferred from the airport to a 4-star hotel at which I had 1 night to stock up on as much luxury and comfort as possible to last me over the next 9 days. En route from the airport, I was surprised at the sheer amount of construction taking place - mostly roads and high-rise buildings to accommodate the huge numbers of people moving into China's cities from the rural areas.
The rest of the group arrived at the hotel from Heathrow via Beijing a little later, and we were taken to the Muslim quarter of Xi'an's old town for our evening meal. Not the best place for a veggie to forage!, but we enjoyed the atmosphere of the market stalls and shops, and saw the Drum Tower - part of the old city wall.