On The Wall and Off The Wall…

One more item I can take off my “bucket list” is a walk on top of the Xi’an City Wall. This rectangular wall surrounds the inner-city and a complete walk around it is just under nine miles. Bicycles can be rented at the top, but I elected to walk it, not realizing the distance involved until I got up on there. The thing about walls (even “great” ones) is that after a bit, it truly is a case of “when you’ve seen one part, you’ve seen it all.” When we walked The Great Wall in Beijing, after about an hour, we were done, even though our guide had allocated three hours. The Xi’an Wall held my attention for about twenty minutes and then it was time to move on. I suppose I’ll just have to wait until Donald Trump’s “big, beautiful wall” to be suitably held in awe and reverence. 

Summer is in full swing here in Xi’an and so far, it’s not been as miserably hot and humid as Beijing was last year although it is still early June. Speaking of which, my 60th birthday (Yikes!) is on tap at the end of the month. I’m contemplating having a housewarming/birthday party but my interest in actually making such an effort is flagging considerably. We’ll see…

In the meantime, take a look at the below photos I have taken over the last few weeks of various excursions around the city. This place is far more manageable to walk than Beijing.

Coming soon: I ordered a dining room set for my second dining room and it should arrive next week. I will then post updated photos of my home as it will be nearly complete- absent a bistro table and chairs for my balcony.

In one of the subways leading to the Wall are some adverts alerting passersby that Xi’an is visited on occasion by famous luminaries

Remember these two? Ah, the good old days! 

Looking up to the Wall

“Scenes from a Wall” You can walk this for almost nine rectangular miles

A replica of a Ming Dynasty structure on the Wall

Scenes of downtown Xi’an about a block from the Wall

I stopped by this jazz club across from the Wall to check it out for future jazz excursions. It’s no different than what you’d see in SF.


The Near Wall Bar is a brewpub “near the wall” as you can see. The Brew Master is American. A pint will set you back $4.00 and a decent burger with fries is $5.00

Walmart: Paris

 Walmart, Paris is the only place in Xi’an I’ve been able to find Aspartame, one of my two basic food groups (the other, being salt). Here I am, at the Near Wall Bar regaling in the fact that I can once again douse things with Equal. “How sweet it is!”

Periodically, our school has classes that take students out into the “real world” for authentic learning experiences, better known as excuses for eating and drinking. No complaints here. On this outing I accompanied students to an Indian food restaurant. Prior to our meal, students were offered a chance to make some flatbreads. Redfort Indian Restaurant: “Lots food, cheap…”


There was also a cooking demonstration. Not only did I not have to pay for dinner, but I actually got paid for simply showing up. Now who can turn that down?

Student Sabrina tries her hand at creating some flatbread

A music ensemble just outside the restaurant

Some of the local flavor around the restaurant

To the right and in the distance, you can catch a glimpse of South Lake from my apartment

My neighborhood is the Qujiang District which is fairly new. It’s rather upscale and host to five-start hotels and very hoity-toity malls and shopping. It’s also home to the Wild Goose Pagoda which is worth its own blog entry; stay tuned. In the distance on the right is my apartment complex.

The Hyatt Regency was built last year. It’s about a thirty minute walk from where I live. I like to come here and have lunch on occasion

This is South Lake where the Hyatt is. The slanted building complex is the Starwood Resort’s W Hotel which, unfortunately, won’t be completed until January, 2019. I have a view of this area from my apartment (see photo above)

On the way to the Hyatt

A “pop-up” farmer’s market across from where I live


Walking to my apartment