Terracotta Warriors

Trip Start Apr 03, 2009
Trip End Apr 19, 2009

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Flag of China  , Shaanxi,
Friday, April 10, 2009

We woke up pretty early, but the couple under Elyse and I were still asleep so it was like walking on eggshells in our tiny cabin when we wanted to move. We cleaned our teeth and ate noodles for breakfast before w e arrived at Xi'an station at 9am. Our guide was ready on the platform, with a "Fisher" sign. He was the only guide to come onto the platform, all the other guides waited outside the station. He took us first to the Xi'an city wall. Xi'an is a walled city, so this wall surrounds the older part of Xi'an, and it was built in the Ming Dynasty. It is 12m wide at the top, and 60m wide at the bottom. WE walked around there for 20mins before we got back on the bus to go to the Terracotta Warriors. We went first to a little factory that makes little Terracotta Warriors, and we had fun with the headless relics that were out the front (cue photo opportunites). We walked around the factory as a tour that is quite boring and just earns commission for our guide, but I have been on worse and some parts of the tour were very interesting. These types of tours all end on a nice sales ploy, this time full-sized terracotta warriors, complete with insurance and shipping costs included.
We piled back on the bus and made our way to lunch. Lunch was also part-restaurant, part-shop, but we quickly bypassed the shop levels as we were hungry and we would be able to find most of the stuff like that for a quarter of the price in the Beijing markets. Lunch was pretty average. With dishes like sauted potatoes covered in toffee and chicken with more bones than meat. It probably wasn't that bad, but compared with some of the other food that we have sampled in China, it didn't measure up. Once we got back on the bus, we made the drive to the Terracotta Warriors. Seeing them again was breathtaking. It is amazing to imagine that they were built before Jesus' time, and the condition that they look now is pristine. They have stopped re-constructing them now, to preserve them better, but wish that they would keep going because I would've loved to have seen them how they were meant to look 2000 years ago. Ancient China must have been so far ahead of the world technologically because there are thousands and thousands of these warriors, all different heights and all have different facial features to reflect real humans. The way that they have lasted all these years is pretty phenomenal. We watched a movie about it, too, which gave a good insight into the Emperor who commissioned it. I also was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the farmer who discovered the warriors, though, unfortunately, photos were not allowed because they hurt his eyes. I loved the Terracotta Warriors and the only thing to make it better would've been less people. You really had to fight for a position in the front.
Once we were back on the bus, we went to the poganda. The poganda was built hundreds of years ago, was destroyed a few years later and then rebuilt soon after. The prince was interested in Buddhism, and asked for it to be built. It was interesting to find out more about the origins of Buddhism. Some of us walked up all 248 steps and back in the poganda. It was a little scary as it is so old, is needing restorations and was affected by the Sichuan earthquakes last year so it is leaning slightly. All these things made it a little hard to climb, but we made it up and back safely. By the time we had finished there, we were tired and went back to the hotel. We had dinner at the hotel buffet with Shane, a fellow travelblogger (username:ekkadeath) and the kids went to their hotel rooms early, ready for the early start tomorrow.
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katemel on

'sauted potatoes covered in toffee' - I hope you asked for the recipe - sounds devine.
Tell your Mum and Dad to buy two of the full-sized warriors. THey'd look good either side of the front door at the surgery. A Kate

kovacsfamily on

photo taking
HI Amy, just looked at the pics from the terracotta warriors, firstly they look amazing, but it made me think about all of you lining up then your dad saying 'amy, smile, next!, laura, smile, next!, hayley, smile, next!, elyse, smile, next!, liam, smile, next! ash, smile, next! shaz & rob, smile, next!!!!!' is this how it works? lol!
love looking at the pics anyway.

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