This morning, Jason helped us to get Tali’s bike repaired, as the derailleur had bent in transit, and my bike adjusted. Once the repairs were completed, we left busy, Metropolitan Xi’an for the countryside, and our first cycling day, about 45 km to Famensi, the home of the temple housing reliquaries of the Buddha. Tali had started to develop flu-like symptoms right after her massage last night, and today as the day progressed, she began not feeling well in earnest!
Famensi was 120 RMB each for admission, to see the remains of 3 fingers of the Buddha, a ticket price even higher than what it cost to see the Terracotta Warriors! In China, the admission prices to temples, monasteries, and other attractions has more to do with the state of local finances, rather than the quality or interest of what’s to be seen inside.
The tomb of the only female ruler in China’s history was not available to see, but we did see the two hills under which she is buried, with a stone building on top of each hill, looking like nipples on top of breasts. We decided not to see another high priced “attraction,” not the tomb itself, but a museum that was open about the empress’ court. These often have commentaries only in Chinese, and have little interest to visitors.
We drove on to the small town of Qian Xian, where we stayed in a nice 2 star hotel; we ate a delicious birthday dinner in the hotel. Our first day west was wonderful.