A Bike Ride Along the City Walls
Xi'an Travel Blog› entry 18 of 22 › view all entries
After checking out of our hostel and dropping out bags off at the luggage storate area near the reception, Jason and I walked to the South Gate of the Xi'an city walls, which was conveniently located near our hostel. We paid 40 RMB each and received a ticket that would allow us to climb up and around the ancient walls, which were built in 1370 under the direction of the first Ming emperor. We climbed the steps up the 39 ft walls, built on the foundations of the Tang Imperial Palace. We then began walking in a counter-clockwise direction along the walkways, which were approximately 40 feet wide and even thicker in certain areas. We located a small station along the walkway that allows tourists to rent bicycles for up to 100 minutes. After convincing Jason that a bike ride would be both enjoyable and refreshing, we rented two bikes and continued along the path.
We decided that we would continue in the current direction for half an hour before turning around and retracing our previous path. Although there were not any major inclines, the ride was not exactly easy, due to the uneven bricks and constant potholes we were forced to ride over, which made for quite a bumpy, and at times uncomfortable, ride. As we rode on the rickety bicycles, without an option of shifting gears, since there were none, we were ablet to enjoy a bit of a breeze, although it was a rather hot one. We continued on because once we stopped, the breeze also came to a halt, and the heat suddenly grew quite unbearable.
About fifteen minutes into our ride, we agreed that instead of turning around after a half hour's work, it would be much more rewarding to ride around the entire nine mile loop.
We felt great after the ride, even though we were then forced to walk home sweaty in the uncomfotable heat and humidity, because we both dearly missed our daily gym routine that was left behind in America.
The remainder of the day was spent preparing for our train ride to Beijing, which departed in the evening. We spent our time reading our novels, enjoying a nice lunch, writing, using the internet, and even making a few trips to the ice cream stand down the street from our hostel.