P1067112 China, ruta seda, silk road Xian, Terracota

There are like 20 windows to get the tickets, each one with a name on top. I go to the one that has a smaller queue. I put a face of being lost (which is not very difficult) and I show this page. The notebook takes you off the hook many times writing names, numbers and times.

A bed train. How great! My previous itinerary was 14 hours sitting in what probably was the most uncomfortable seat ever manufactured. A heel. This time I have a bed and have arrived to Xian fresh. It’s possible to get “hard sleep” and “soft sleep”. The “hard” is not that hard and a lot more economic than the soft.

PB226247 China, ruta seda, silk road Xian, Terracota

Xian is an enormous city that grows fast. The outskirts are full of gigantic buildings built for the people that emigrate here from the countryside.

China produces me a feeling. It’s very beautiful, extremely interesting and also I feel well here, but the constant amalgamation of people, the exaggerated development in which the Chinese don’t know if the good is the tradition or the modern, the big generational difference that is being created, the treatment to ethnic minorities, the control of the government (I’ve shown the passport more times that in any other place), an Internet in which you can’t see nearly anything, the mastodon tic cities, the pro-Chinese propaganda, the unfinished working times… My feeling is that I’m happy for not being Chinese.

PB236267 China, ruta seda, silk road Xian, Terracota

Around the Muslim quarter. Streets perfectly paved, clean shops and touristy prices. I’ve got into the big Chinese circuit where everything it’s easier

PB236275 China, ruta seda, silk road Xian, Terracota

I go to see the great mosque. I denied it, another mosque!!! However, I loved it, done in stone with a quietness that seemed in a city with constant activity that seems to have a million busses.

PB236285 China, ruta seda, silk road Xian, Terracota

The spot in the sky is his kite.

PB236294 China, ruta seda, silk road Xian, Terracota

I love the silhouettes of the trees with no leaves.

PB236320 China, ruta seda, silk road Xian, Terracota

I haven’t been able to choose between both.

PB236322 China, ruta seda, silk road Xian, Terracota

14 kilometres of wall surrounds the city, it’s perfectly fixed now, so much it looks like Disneyland, still it’s very beautiful.

PB236333 China, ruta seda, silk road Xian, Terracota

The yellow is a tasteless corn soup. The red, a dish with as many chillies as little chicken pieces, I haven’t had anything so spicy in my entire life.

Many times it’s said that the Silk Road started here, in Xian, and finished in Istanbul. But in fact the silk didn’t came from here, the place of the biggest production was more to the south.

In the same way, as I’ve told you several times the destination was not Istanbul or streets, bridges and buildings would be covered in 10 layers of silk. The silk arrived not only to Istanbul; it arrived to the rest of Europe.

The ones that were doing the Silk Road were not going go do “the silk road”. They went to work, to bring their goods to the west, to the next city or to the following province. The name “Silk Road” was invented by Ferdinand Von Richtofen baron in 1877. With the name he named the network of roads that joined east and west.

From all the goods exchanged the baron found silk as the most important. He could have called it the spices route, the tea, the rhubarb (a medicinal plant that became very fashionable in Europe), the carpets, the jade or thousands other things that were constantly transported by this roads. But the silk gave the name. Its even worth it’s weight in gold, has meant luxury since it was known and it was never short of supply even in times of war.

The name is used since and it’s over used for anything related with the east. One that I dislike the most is when they use “the new silk road” to call anything at all. Can’t journalist make up a new name?

PB246346 China, ruta seda, silk road Xian, Terracota

I arrive to see the warriors with its armors and weapons. Angry, protective and serious. If the intention was to impress, they were successful.

PB246445 China, ruta seda, silk road Xian, Terracota

From the distance they look like toys.

PB246447 China, ruta seda, silk road Xian, Terracota

There are as many as you imagine.

I leave happy with some of the pictures, with a fever of 39 I didn’t think I had any decent shot. I go to Beijing. From Xian there are no flights to Spain so I have to go to the capital. I also really want to see it.

The cold has helped me not to think much, I don’t want to think of the end of the trip. I prefer to simply continue, see Beijing, the great wall and take the last week easy. I want to make a video of Beijing, I’ve been thinking about it for two weeks. Let’s see if I get to do what I have in my head.

I get my last land transport, another sleeping train towards Beijing. This time I can ask for a ticket in English, I’m back to the touristy civilization.

See you soon.

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