More tasty breakfast (mostly pork buns) and a swift check out by 8am. Most of the group went off to see the Xi’an city wall (apparently the biggest city wall in the world). A few of us, HB and I along with HB’s brother and his wife, went off on a special family expedition with a lady from the Xi’an cultural heritage centre. The expedition was to see an exhibition put together with help from HB’s cousin David Brough – about the work of a group of quakers who went to offer aid in China and Burma in the 1940s. It was lovely to see HB and his brother posing next to an old photograph of their great uncle Bill in the exhibition – the quaker group went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts. A great article and more information is here.
We rejoined the group at the Large Wild Goose Pagoda in town, a lovely temple which had all of the beauty and sincerity that the Famen temple didn’t. We got a very quick tour from a very keen tour guide who got very annoyed if we weren’t paying full attention. We had a small lecture on chinese calligraphy and painting, which was very interesting – and we were shown how to make ink and how to do the basic 8 strokes, as drawn in the character for eternity.
After lunch we jumped on our bus, and stayed on it for a very long time. Epic bus ride through endless mountain tunnels to our next location – the legendary Wudang mountain. Our hotel was in town at the foot of the Wudang mountains scenic area. We arrived late and hungry to an insanely cold hotel, where all the staff, even the waitresses at dinner were wearing outside coats and hats!