The journal continues in Xi’an
A guide arrived at the hotel for us at 9. a.m. and took us first to the East Gate in the city wall. We climbed the 70 steps to the top of the wall which is wide enough for ‘6 carriages to travel side by side.’ There were large guard houses at each gate and two courts that anyone entering the city had to pass through. Also on the top of the wall there were smaller guard houses placed at such intervals that could be covered by the distance an arrow could be shot.
The guide then took us to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Buddhist temple. The temple got its name because a monk had been praying for food when a goose fell from a flock flying over and landed at that place. He then built the temple and pagoda. Originally the bricks of the pagoda were ‘cemented’ together with sticky rice.
The Goose Pagoda was originally built in 652 during the reign of Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), it functioned to collect Buddhist materials that were brought from India by the monk Xuanzang. His journeys are depicted in huge copper 3D pictures.
This post is an extract of my mother’s travel journal written during a tour of China in 2013.