Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Last missive from the eastern hemisphere

Saw the Terra cotta warriors in Xi'an. Super awesome. Also saw a tomb
filled with thousands of Tera cotta barnyard animals - goats, sheep,
cows, chickens, dogs, pigs AND piglets. Really cool. Xi'an is also
home to a thriving Muslim population, so we checked out one of the
biggest mosques in China (the minaret is a pagoda) and wandering
through the neighborhood.

Took the night train to Shanghai and spent yesterday afternoon in an
artsy-fartsy gallery neighborhood in the French Concession. Amazing
seafood dinner, with fish, prawns and two completely unidentifiable
sea creatures. Sad to be leaving this country!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Last day in Peking. Smog creeping back.

Spent the morning at the Summer Palace, which wasn't quite as overrun
with tourists as yesterday's attractions. We're taking a night train
to Xi'an, looking forward to leaving the big city behind.

Realized today that we're missing Potlatch this weekend. A tinge of
regret... Hope everyone is having a great time up there!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Lamb testicles for dinner tonight

Very tender! Also had pumpkin balls, and fried hawthorne.

Spent the day at Tianamen Square (which is vast) and at the Forbidden
City (which is great, but very hot and crowded today, so it was pretty
draining). Blue sky today! Yay! And no sunburn!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Great Wall, great neighborhood, great dinner

The wall is as big as everyone says it is. Fairly astounding. Sadly,
we had a rainy day, so the vistas were of pure fog.

We got dropped off in the 798 Art District, which is sort of like
Beijing's SoHo. Not quite as bustling, but a fun, young, hip
neighborhood. We nosed around galleries and drank expensive espresso
for the afternoon, then dined on sea cucumbers, pickled duck, sort of
a savory Jell-O dish, scallion pancake (quesadilla minus cheese) and
dried tofu wrapped around raw veggies dipped in a great black bean

The rain cleared up a lot of the smog in the city, so we actually got
a sense of the skyline today! Yesterday it was too hazy to see more
than a few blocks away. This place is huge. Huge! It's about the same
size as Belgium, in fact.