Xi’an – the Great Wild Goose Pagoda

3/11 – Today we ventured south to visit the Great Wild Goose Pagoda. Jim taught here in Xi’an, and visited the pagoda 30 years ago – I wonder if it’s changed?

For some reason, we had a hard time convincing a taxi to take us there, so we ended up in a three-wheeled tuk-tuk like the ones in India – two stroke engine, soft sides, hard bench, no shock absorbers.  Talk about your wild rides – we went the wrong way down one way streets, flew over speed bumps, and passed buses on the right. My teeth rattled in my head, and I held onto Jim for dear life!

Four miles later, the pagoda came into view.  image

Since Jim had been here, a huge park was built around the pagoda, and it can be accessed by an overhead tram or a little trolley.imageimage

The day was warm and sunny (although gray with smog), and there were plenty of people out.  They sure love to mug it up for the camera – a series of sidewalk statues had folks lined up to take each other’s pictures.

There were several displays surrounding the pagoda, with a variety of Buddhas.image

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Buddha’s mother dreamed of a white elephant, signifying that she would give birth to an enlightened one.image

The birth of the Buddha.image

We only saw a few people praying – most were tourists.image

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The seven story stone pagoda was built to protect the three baskets of sacred scrolls that the monk Xuanzang brought back from India in 628 CE. image

The views from the top – very smoggy.image

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This is a nice city, very modern, and would be a fine place to live if not for the smog. I hope we get to see the sun someday soon!

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