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 The train ride showed us some of the beautiful Chinese countryside of mud-brick villages and terraformed farmland. The ground is made of clay-like earth and each grade of elevation is flattened and layered, giving the appearance of giant steps cut into the hillsides. We got off at Xi'an, the ancient Chinese capital city. A huge wall (8 miles long) surrounds the inner city and creates a medieval atmosphere. We wandered streets lined by trees and small shops in the "Muslim Quarter." The food is excellent and cheap. We actually ate our way down the street, tasting many different kinds of dumplings, noodle dishes, "noodle burritos," breads filled with meats and vegetables, and even various sweets that taste like fig newtons. To give you an idea of how cheap the food is, a plate of 8 incredible tasting dumplings costs about 30 cents. PS: Beijing Internet connectivity was awful. Xi'an has been much better, so we've been able to post some pictures.
 (Above) Great scenery on the train ride to Xi'an(Below) A meal on the street for under $1