Cycling The Silk Road In China – After a long and jolty train journey, finally Xian
Clarence Guo waited for us at the Xian train station to take us to the ‘Warriors Apartment’, which we rented for two nights while staying in Xian.
It came highly recommended by Trip Advisor, and we decided to take a gamble, and not to go the ‘safe route’ of the brand name luxury hotels in Xian.
It was a rainy grey morning, when we met him.
A slim tall man with round glasses, making his way quickly through the dense cacophony of traffic.
Xian is not as orderly as Beijing.
People walk into car lanes, cars are going the wrong way and the whole place is busy and lively.
Clarence took us to the luggage bay, to pick up our bikes.
We were told that our bikes, were never put on the train to begin with….
In fact, back in Beijing, we apparently shipped them via truck freight to Xian…
Now, they can only be picked at their warehouse outside of town, when and if they will arrive tomorrow…
Swallowing our disappointment and hoping all will go well….. (As it usually does)…… We went to the apartment that Clarence rents.
He gave us our choice of apartments.
Both were decorated with replicas of the terra-cotta warriors, and have a traditional Khan bed.
The Khan bed is a concrete platform covered with a thick foam mattress, and it has a hole underneath, which in the winter, is warmed by burning wood or corn ears, to heat this very large bed, on which the whole family traditionally sleeps.
The apartments are basic, but very pleasing, have some traditional elements and are very comfortable.
They are made even more comfortable, by the friendliness of Clarence and his wife, who stocked the fridge with food for us, and as many clean towels, mineral waters, a collection of Chinese green teas and local treats and cookies.
His friendly wife, noticed the bag of laundry that I left beside our bags, and did our laundry without me even asking her…. We were so moved…