Day 9 Pagodas & Mosques
I guess today's the day to hit the religious targets of the city. In the morning we visited the 大/小雁塔 (Big & Small Wild Goose Pagodas).
The small pagoda is actually also the local park, where we could see the normal Chinese sight of old ladies doing their Taichi routines (or Taichi sword routines!) in the morning. There was also a big bell there that the kids had fun ringing (it took the both of them with some help from their dad to swing the wooden ringer). There was also a shop doing wood carvings out of the natural flow of the wood that was pretty cool.
The big pagoda was much more serious about its religion. Of course, since we were not Buddhists, we didn't bother with the incense thing and there wasn't much we could do aside, especially since photography is not allowed in any of the shrines (sacrilege, I guess).
In the afternoon, we visited the bell and drum towers of the old city, as well as the mosque in the Muslim quarter of the city - originally built there during the Tang, and repaired/rebuilt in the Ming/Qing. I have to say, if we hadn't been told that the place was a Muslim mosque, I'd have thought it was just another typical Chinese temple/garden thing. :P The kids (and I) did have fun with the orange tabby kitten that was owned by one of the groundskeepers there though.
The itchy throat and bad air made a comeback today. But everyone was having those problems today, not just me. Gah.