13th Jan 2012
Woke up at 6am this morning! My body clock is still out of sinc. Explored the hotel last night, there are a few shops and spas, all of which are very expensive lol. I am hoping I can convince Eric to take me to see some art galleries today.
The large wild goose pagoda was an incredible structure, with stunning scenery and gardens. Although it was saddening to see the monks had strung up tiny metal cages in the trees filled with wild birds. Contrary to what they wanted, the bird’s songs filled the gardens with sounds of distress as other birds tried to free them. There was even a cage containing a tiny ginger kitten, his feet raw from standing on the wire floor of the cage. Despite my efforts to free him and take him back with me, the monks did not want to let him go, and did not understand my distress at seeing the animal in so much pain. I left with Eric feeling defeated, but knowing that there are most likely many other animals in such conditions that I would be unable to save. It seemed ironic that the garden was filled with sayings and verses preaching how you should look after nature and treat others how you wish to be treated.
That night Eric came to take me to see Xian at night; we made our way by bus to see the lights surrounding the wild goose pagoda. At night the city was transformed, the trees were adorned with glowing lights wrapped around their branches. We went to see the fountain, one of the biggest in the world. The water sprayed upwards in various colours to music.