On Sunday morning, we departed bright and early for the Beijing airport. We and the Noths headed for Taiyuan, Shanxi and the Szynals headed for Xi'an, Shaanxi. The flight was only an hour long and I was barely able to get my book out before we were ready to land.
Shanxi's primary industry is coal mining - the air is very smoggy and it smells like you're always standing directly behind a running bus. This is the view from our hotel room window. We are staying at the lovely and accommodating Continental Hotel. It is very cold and snowy, and there's slush everywhere we walk. The sidewalks and steps are made of granite and get very slippery - we took our lives in our hands as we descended steps into a shopping mall!