Xian is the city closest to the Terra-cotta Soldiers site. I was so focused on getting to see that buried clay army that I completely overlooked the possibility that Xian might be a fun and interesting place to visit even without the soldiers tourist draw.
Xian turns out to be a very lovely "little" city in China (only 8 million!). The ancient city center is still completely surrounded by a wall and that wall is something like 8 miles long. The top of the wall is a broad "boulevard" and the view is stunning. Many of the locals enjoy bicycling the city wall.
The moat is pretty, too. I really enjoyed strolling around, taking pictures and just taking in the lovely warm weather and the beautiful views.
Nonie and I both loved the city wall adventure.
Much to the amazement of the visitors to the city wall, along came a "guard troop" outfitted in antique uniforms. It really did add a certain cachet to the whole experience having the soldiers marching by, listening to their boots echoing off the wall----it took you into history!
Several members of our group were asked to be a part of this families photos. I think they blended into a nice, family grouping very well.
In the base of the wall itself is now a little coffee shop. It's very trendy and cute, but the reports I got were that the coffee wasn't so good---spoken like a true Seattle coffee snob. At least the atmosphere was great!