04 January 2006

Xi'an

It has been pretty chilly here for the last few days. No colder than northern or eastern Idaho, but I had a car in Idaho. So when I checked the average January temperature in Xi'an and saw it was 41 degrees, well, that sounds quite pleasant.

Urumqi is nowhere near as pleasant. The high will probably be around 10 degrees while we're there. So we'll spend a lot more time in Xi'an.

And that's not hard. Xi'an is a fascinating city. The University of Washington's Silk Road website has a good section on Xi'an. (I love their website. Maybe we can go to Seattle afterwards for my husband to get a degree is Asian Law and I can get a masters in Central Asian studies.)

Anyway, Xi'an has plenty of interesting sites, or the area does. The most famous are the Terracotta Warriors which we'll go out to see, but there's a lot more to Xi'an that than. It has been the capital of various Chinese empires, especially in the 1st millenium AD, when it was usually called Chang'an.

Xi'an has long been a crossroads for a variety of cultures and religions. It's usually considered to be the eastern end of the Silk Road. Buddhists, Manichaeists, and Muslims have all had considerable power in the city. Today there is a distinct Muslim quarter that I'm looking forward to exploring.

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