Well we survived the hard sleeper from Xián to Pingyao and met some lovely people in our compartment. They were all locals of course but the guy gave us little packet of the food that Pingyao is known for and it turned out to be corned beef so i was really surprised and tasted just like the way my mum makes it!!! the compartments in the hard sleeper are stacked 3 up on each side and i was lucky to have the bottom one and terry got the middle one. they do not have any doors and the passageway is open. lights are out at 10 pm and everyone goes to bed and starts snoring or so i am told as that does not worry me – its at times like this that deafness helps. our train left late so we arrived at 7 am and there was a meet and greet for us which was a bonus. our room turned out to be tops and as it was a bit colder here we were glad of the central heating. we got cleaned up had breakfast and could not wait to explore this city that we had glimpsed at on the way in. words cannot describe how lovely this old city is – the doorways and frontages are carved wood and glass often with red paper cutouts decortaing them. the red just stands out against the brick and darkness of the wood and the rooves are tiled with pretty ends. often on above the doorways are panels of painted pictures.
For the museums here you buy one ticket for Y120 and it gets you into a whole lot of things so we started straight away and saw the confutious museum a few temples and old family houses and the bank which was the first one to issue cheques in the world. it was all quite lovely. a dust storm came up and as we were quite tired from our early morning start we came home to have a siesta in the and then had dinner at the hotel as by this time it had started raining. on our way back to our room i said to terry there were snow flurries but he did not believe me. it was a different story when we woke this morning as outside had turned into fairlyland there was snow everywhere. we went straight out and started taking pictures. as i had left my spare battery at home (this is a no-no) i had to leave all the picture taking to terry once my batter ran out. we walked right around the wall and we had a great opportunity for picture taking. it took us a couple of hours and then when we had completed the whole incredible wall rebuilt during the Ming period that is between 1300 and 1600 give or take a few years. we went outside the city walls for lunch away from the tourist trap area and had the most delicious lunch with of course the famouse corned beef. we wandered through the market and i bought a much needed pair of gloves and so did terry. we came home and popped into a few more houses and the martial arts museum but i hate to say this they were starting to get a bit boring and much of a muchness and i did feel they could clean the displays and dust the furniture down, could have done with a bit of a polish etc etc. So this is our last night here, I am going to miss the Sedar as there are no Jewish families here that i know of so to all my Jewish friends have a great one and have a glass of wine or 4 for me please. We leave tomorrow night for Beijing on the soft sleeper lower berth!!!!

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