Train 2682 to Pingyao

After dinner and the tour of the market, we headed to Xi’an Train Station to climb aboard Train#2682 to Pingyao. Imagine Penn Station in New York at rush hour and that will give you a good idea of what it was like. Our bus dropped us off about a 1/4 mile from the station which was as close as the driver could get. There were hundreds of people hanging around, apparently waiting for their trains outside the station in the open air courtyard. It was nighttime so there was an extra amount of excitement in the air. We made our way through the crowd, weaving left and right as we went. This was a light night in terms of the number of people around, which was a welcome relief to me. I could not imagine it even more crowded! We made our way through security and our bags were sent through the x-ray. It was a process that would make the TSA squirm as I am not sure the metal detector was even on. Our guide and Dr. Yang got into a heavy discussion with a station official who wanted us to pay $150 to take the VIP route to our train. Our guide was frustrated and said something in Chinese that I think it better I don’t understand. We managed to decline the payoff and headed to the soft seating lounge. It was a good thing we didn’t pay since our train was called 5 minutes later. We walked up and down some stairs to get to Track 5 and into the Soft Sleeper Car number 9. A few minutes later we were settled into our car and on our way. Everyone seemed relieved but with that same look of wonder on their faces. Next stop is Pingyao, rested or not. Here are some pictures of our train.

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