After our karaoke blitz we were all quite tired the next morning but were able to get our ducks in a row early enough to have one last visit with Vivianne’s grandparents before heading to the airport.
The flight was a quick one and after landing at the airport Viv was able to use the Mandarin she’d been learning to negotiate a taxi. When we finally got one that would take us, we realized it was unmarked, but by that point we were just too lazy to go back to find another (later on, we found out that this guy’s deal was actually not so bad).
We were taken into the massive city of Xi’an and into the city walls where our hostel, 7 Sages, was. This is possibly the nicest hostel we stayed in on our trip – a beautiful old hutong that was clean, had a good restaurant and excellent staff.
We headed directly to the Xi’an train station in an attempt to buy our overnight sleeper tickets to Beijing in a couple days. Vivianne found it impossible to buy the tickets outside of Mainland China, and sadly…all the tickets except for standing room only (for 12 hours overnight!?!) were booked. Of course, we did not want to do that, so headed back to the hostel where our hostel staff were not only able to find us flights to Beijing, but at a really great cost!! They also booked a hostel for us since we hadn’t anticipated needing accommodation (as we thought we’d be in transit).
So feeling super relieved, we enjoyed the hostel which included Vivianne making dumplings (which I inhaled!) and enjoying the cheap beer!