. It was very easy, although, of course, it too k longer than anticipated! I was a little worried because our hostel told us there was no bus schedule, the buses just leave when they are full. I envisioned hours of sitting on a bus waiting for people to come aboard. But we need not have worried--the Chinese are major tourists- the bus filled up immediately (we were surprised that we were the only gringos!) and we were on way within 5 minutes. When we arrived to the site of the warriors, we hired an English speaking tour guide. The grounds for the Terracotta exhibits were very well done and quite a bit larger than we expected. As it was only discovered in 1974, it is only partially excavated and still an active site for archeologists. The warriors were discovered by a local farmer while digging a water well in 1974 who, capitalizing on his fame, was at the site signing books! All the of the warriors were painstakingly reassembled and the details were incredible- this is even more incredible as they were built in 210 BC! Each warrior had different facial features and hair styles and clothing according to military rank. According to Wikipedia, “The Terracotta Army is a form of funerary art buried with the First Emperor of Qin in 210-209 BC. The Army's purpose was to help rule another empire with Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife. The figures vary in height 1.83–1.95 metres (6.0–6.4 ft), according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots, horses, officials, acrobats, strongmen, and musicians. Current estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried in the pits.” All of the warriors were terracotta colored, but apparently when they were discovered the brightly covered paint was still visible. Within a matter of hours, the air affected the paint and the colors disappeared. I was amazed that (according to our guide) they have the foresight to decide to leave whole sections of it untouched and still buried until the day when they have the technology to keep the paint from disappearing. Photos do not do the warriors justice, they are amazing!
The best things about Xian were the Terracotta Warriors, our hostel and the spicy noodles across the street. We stayed longer than we needed to, but sometimes it is just nice to sleep in the same bed for a few nights!! We had a great hostel, with awesome coffee lattes and a big screen TV where we could watch bootlegged movies. We had 2 days where we didn’t even leave the hostel except to get the noodles across the street! We are a little travel weary, and given that everything is difficult to do in China, a few days holed up in the hostel were exactly what we needed! Getting noodles was a fun experience, because even though we went 3 days in a row, we never got the same thing twice, but it was always delicious. I showed the noodles picture on the picture translator (Well, i think it is actually a plate of spaghetti, but it did the trick!). One day we got it to go, and it came in a plastic bag that was then placed in a styrofoam container that was so full it wouldn't close. And it was $1! Too bad we don't like China more, we could easily retire here on current funds! :) We met a couple of Canadian girls and decided to go see the warriors together using the public bus