Date: May 16, 2015
Written by: Kyra Cusvelle
This was the first day of the tour that our group didn’t spend the entire day together. Typically we get up at the same time, eat breakfast at the same time, get on the bus at the same time, and share the same experiences at the same time. To be separated into two different groups for our flights out of Xi’an made my day feel a little disjointed, and really made me realize how close we have become as a group.
The flight for the first group was scheduled to leave at 4, so most of us spent the morning at the airport, the hotel, or in the areas surrounding the airport. It was nice to have some unstructured free time, to help let off the steam that had built up during the stressful day before.
The second group did not leave Xi’an until the evening, and so had more time to spend exploring Xi’an. Many members of this group took taxis to a hot pot restaurant of Mic’s recommendation. Hot pot is a Chinese meal similar to stew, where tables share one or more large pots of simmering broth, which are used to cook a wide variety of ingredients. Popular ingredients include various types of meat, vegetables, mushrooms, and dumplings. The group all highly enjoyed the experience, and will definitely be looking for hot pot restaurants when we get back to Edmonton!
Both groups were able to meet with a local tailor later on in the evening, for the opportunity to purchase tailor-made suits, dresses, jackets, shirts, and pants. Everyone who ordered garments was happy with the prices and quality of the garments, and is looking forward to receiving their pieces on our last day in the city.
Upon arriving in Shanghai, each group was taken by bus to the Shanghai Administrative Institute (SAI). On the way there, we were all amazed by the city’s architecture, cleanliness, and respect for traffic laws (relative to Beijing and Xi’an, of course). It was also enjoyable to hear Jane tell us stories about her home town. The city is obviously quite special to her, and I think it inspired us to make memories of our own here. At SAI, the first group to arrive was impressed by the beauty of the campus, the quality of our dinner, and the speed with which we fell asleep after such a long day.