Day 10 Tang Paradise, City Walls
Woke up with a lot of mucus and a small case of the sniffles. Decided to start taking the Tylenol to head off the cold. The younger of the twins also had a slight fever and had to stay in the hotel with her dad to see if she could recover by tomorrow (since the girls really wanted to see Princess Yongtai's tomb, so much that we'd actually switched from our day of touring Famen Temple to visiting Qian Ling instead). So today's tour just consisted of me, my aunt, and the elder of the twins.
This morning we went to the 大唐芙蓉园 (Tang Paradise), which is a man-made park showcasing the Tang style architecture. There, we caught several shows - a short intro dance, a drum performance, and a lion dance atop a series of raised platforms. Our tour guide was actually very surprised since even though she's lived in the city all her life and had visited the Tang Paradise before, she'd never even known those shows existed.
The coolest thing we saw at the Tang Paradise was a 3D model map of the city during the hey-day of the Tang Dynasty, with labels of where areas such as the Daminggong, etc. were located. I had fun tracing the waterways that were channeled to the city by probably man-made canals, and which created the city moat, flowed down one of the major streets, and also channeled into several man-made lakes in the parks of the original city.
(Caption: View from 'north' side of the original pre-Daminggong palace 'south' toward the rest of the city. The gate with the sign in front is the original Xuanwumen.)
There was also a bunch of cranes caged in one area of the garden. The cage wires played merry havoc with the camera autofocus while I was trying to get a pic of any of the birds flapping. Oh well; we'll see how well they turn out.
Lunch was at a vegetarian Buddhist place. Food was mediocre, I guess, for vegetarian. Had fun rearranging the fruit/desert dish given us into cutesy patterns.
After lunch, we went to the old city wall (just the south gate portion; we weren't about to circumnavigate the inner city). According to our tour guide, most parts of the city wall dates back to the Ming Dynasty, though there are still some parts dating back to Tang. The tourist area, of course, was modern. :P
It's a pity we couldn't go back and see it at night. The light are supposed to be spectacular.