Monday, July 2, 2012
LITTLE WILDGOOSE PAGODA.
Before leaving Xian for our flight to our next destination at Chonquin, we walked up the 100 steps to the top of this old city wall. This preserved section of the wall has wonderful views of the modern city in a very affluent section of Xian.
This view of the street below is curious for how little traffic you see. Budding new capitalists in China now want to own their own car, but they have yet to find out about real traffic jambs.
It is a city in transition, with bikes and rickshaws mingling with autos.
On top of the wall, are businesses, not yet open as we arrive early in the morning. We walk and take in the view.
These very modern apartments have few cars parked outside.
An old walled enclosure now serves as a parking lot. In America it would be jammed full.
If you build a gate, why not make it beautiful? We spend an hour on the wall before moving on to the Little Wildgoose Pagoda which is an old Tang Dynasty Temple with a huge city bell.
The grounds here resemble the Temple Of Heaven. It is the gathering place for exercise that all Chinese do each morning.
Chinese people do not have meetings in their small homes. They have a meeting and take care of business at the Temple or Park.
Tai Chi with swords.
These stone posts are left over from the old days when people tied up their horse or donkey to visit the temple.
The Little Wildgoose Pagoda is named for the wild goose because a starving monk, (monks cannot ask anyone for food,) was hoping to find some meat when a wild goose flew into the pagoda and couldn’t get out. It died, (they don’t kill), and he ate it and named it the Wildgoose Pagoda. Pagodas were used for the monks to study. Buddhism was brought to this particular Pagoda by a monk who walked the scrolls from India to China.
On the grounds is a famous bell. All of our big strong guys tried to ring it and could not. It takes about ten men to ring the bell as a way to warn the city that invaders were coming. It is hard to ring deliberately so naughty boys would not ring and run, it is speculated. The Temple grounds had numerous craftsmen with shops, paintings, calligraphy, sculpture, glass, etc. It is a lovely, serene place in the morning.
In the afternoon, we packed our suitcases and then visited a Jade Factory. I couldn’t help but notice the poor working environment provided for their craftsmen.
The work they turn precious, works of art.
Factory visits on tours are designed to expose you to a quiet shopping environment of China’s best crafts. We visited a pearl factory, rugs, and now jade. They are also expensive places to shop, and interesting.
Our final dinner before our flight was a special 23 dumpling dinner, traditional food for the area. Normally the huge center turntable is filled with individual dishes. In this case, a waiter dished out the dumplings, helping after helping in the little glass bowls. It was superb.