After leaving the Summer Palace, we boarded the bus to head to lunch before traveling to Xi’an.
Last Beijing Meal
Lunch was at a Ramada hotel in a meeting room in the basement. It was also the site of the worst meal to date (however later in the trip there wasw one lunch that beat it).
Everyone complained about the food today. The weirdest dish was corn and peas mixed with cut up lunch meat. Another dish literally looked like dog food; it was okay but I wouldn’t want seconds.
The best part of the meal was the soup; hot and sour. It wasn’t as good a my local Chinese restaurant but easily the best soup we’ve had on the trip to date. Another plus was the nice ladies room so I visited twice, LOL.
Traveling to Xi’an
We boarded the coach to head to the Beijing airport and say good bye to Mr. Wu (our Beijing bus driver) and Lisa. I saw just about everyone giving each of them tips.
John got our boarding passes and once we had them, we got in line at group check-in to check our luggage. That went easily but security was another story.
They have the metal detectors set to beep for everyone so every single person was wanded and physically screened. We also had to separate cameras, laptops and tablets. What they didn’t tell us, and I got my backpack sent back for, was portable chargers needed to be removed. I found it and put it in a bin and was allowed to proceed.
I was hanging with three friends I made (Nanette, Selena and Nora) and we walked to our gate and chatted away the time. We had a few hours as our flight wasn’t scheduled until 5 pm.
Selena broke out snacks and I really enjoyed the peanut butter filled pretzel bites. I also had a Luna bar as the plane was going to be late and I didn’t have high expectations for the on-board meal.
We flew China Eastern to Xi’an and there was no order to boarding. Just get in line and board after the wheel chair passengers and first class are on board. I had a window seat in row 53. We were all thinking this must be a huge plane but interestingly coach starts at row 31.
Cheryl from Louisiana sat next to me and it was enjoyable chatting with her a bit and getting to know her. The plane was an A321 and very comfortable. There were a lot of flight attendants whom all were young, dressed beautifully,and perfectly groomed.
Dinner was served and was beef and rice. What we got was a few little meatballs in a sauce with carrots and soybeans with rice, a roll and a little cup of water in a box.
There was a packet of something that the Chinese passengers put on the roll but it didn’t smell appealing so I left it off as did most of the westerner’s, We were then given bottles of water. I was very glad I had the pre-flight snacks.
The flight was 1 hour and 45 minutes long and we left about 25 minutes late so it was 7:30 pm when we landed. We got to the baggage claim and once everyone had their luggage we were missing several people; the smokers. They went outside to smoke before getting their bags and held up the entire group. I was annoyed since we were tired and all just wanted to get to the hotel.
Once everyone had their luggage we were led by our Xi’an guide, Jason Wong, to the bus. It was about 10-15 minute walk and then all the luggage didn’t fit so some was put in the front seats reserved for the guides.
Finally we were underway and Jason formally introduced himself and told us a bit about Xian, the hotel etc. He spoke great English and I like his style.
I forgot to mention the pollution. I started coughing and feeling irritated in my throat as soon as we landed. Once at baggage claim, I dug out my mask and wore it until we got to the hotel.
It was about a 40 minute drive to the hotel which is in the city. We were given our keys and I got to my room (603). The room is very nice but after letting my husband know i was fine it was lights out at 10:30 pm.
DISTANCE: 4.3 miles
Don’t miss the previous China posts linked below.
Going to China (tour and visa)
China: Trip Preparations
November 12-13, 2016: Travel to Beijing
November 14, 2016: Beijing and Great Wall
November 14, 2016: Ming Tombs and Peking Duck Dinner
West International Trade Hotel Beijing
November 15, 2016: Hutong and Temple of Heaven
November 15, 2016: Tiananmen Square, Fobidden City and Beijing Opera
November 16, 2016: Pearl Factory and Summer Palace