9 million people living under a yellow cloud.
16.06.2012 - 16.06.2012 95 °F
We arrived at the airport in Xi’an and immediately felt the oppressive, sweltering heat. The temperature was around 95 and climbing. A huge yellow dust cloud seemed to just hang over the area. The airport is located about 45 minutes outside of the city and the ride in was very informative as our guide met us at the airport and escorted us to our hotel and she filled almost the entire drive with information about Xi’an and the things that we would be seeing(Terracotta Warriors, Muslim Quarter, Bell Tower, and Big Goose Pagoda). One interesting thing about the city is that it is growing so quickly that the outskirts of the city does not yet have traffic lights. It made for an interesting entry into the city as our driver had to gauge the movements of cars, bicycles, pedestrians, and scooters and decide when he had the right of way (which really does not exist in China as far as I can tell). We had a couple of close calls!
We stayed in the Sheraton, a brand new hotel outside the North Wall of the gated part of the city. The hotel in Beijing was nice but this hotel was a true 5 star hotel with out of this world facilities. The pool area was jaw droppingly clean and luxurious. The changing room had a sauna, therapeutic spa, steam room, ice fountain, snazzy showers, and swanky showers. We were in heaven. After seeing the pool area and the work out room we decided to stay in for the evening, work out, and relax by the pool. It was divine and we needed the down time.