Day 7: Xi’an: Terra Cotta Warriors + Biking on the City Wall

When I found out that I was going to Plus 3 China I was excited but I was most excited to see the Terra Cotta Warriors. The day started off a gloomy and a little rainy but we boarded the bus and headed to the site on time anyways. The ride was a lot shorter than I expected, around 30 minutes. Seeing that it was a weekend and Xi’an’s biggest attraction the entrance was packed. We fought our way through lines, ticket checks, and security checks and then finally boarded the tram that would take us to the pits. The first pit we saw was naturally Pit 1. Cindy, our tour guide, told us that Pit 1 was the most famous, most impressive, and the one that had been excavated the most. After I fought through crowds of people trying to get to the front of the viewing gate, I was impressed by the sheer number of warriors. Although many of the warriors had been destroyed, the ones that were rebuilt by the archeologists were extremely detailed and life like. It was hard to grasp that all the warriors had been built by hand. The horses were also extremely life like and detailed as well. As we walked through the pit we saw many warriors in the process of being rebuilt. We then walked to Pit 2. Pit 2 was where excavators found the general, four horses, and the horse driver. The general was moved to Pit 3 where it was in a safer glass case. The horses and warriors seen in Pit 2 wore different armor, signaling that they were of higher rank. Our class then walked into a photo room where there was a photo set that made it seem like one was standing with the warriors in Pit 1. A photo of this is below. We then walked to Pit 3, the last pit open for public. Pit 3 was not as excavated as the others and you could still see the dirt roof beams hiding what was underneath. There was one area where you could see human bone- remnants of a grave robber attempting to get into the tomb. Cindy told us that the tombs were laced with many booby traps and the excavators had to be extremely careful. In Pit 3 there were also exhibits behind glass cases that you could look closely at. Such exhibits included archers, the general found in Pit 2, a horse led by a driver, weapons, and a soldier in fighting position. The weapons were originally found with the soldiers but to preserve the whole site better, the weapons and the soldiers have been separated. Lunch was served, buffet style on metal trays that reminded me of grade school, in the museum’s restaurant.

We were then bused to the City Wall. Cindy informed us that there are numerous city walls all over China but the one in Xi’an is the only one intact to this day. Cindy and William helped us rent bikes and told us that as long as we only took 90 minutes, we could ride our bikes 8 miles around the entire City Wall. Hayley and I started off strong but I wanted to go back to exchange my uncomfortable bike for another one. We restarted our trek but then got side tracked by a convenience store selling ice cream. We sat on a bench eating our ice cream when we realized that we only had 40 minutes left till we had to meet back up with our group. We leisurely made our way back and had 20 minutes of downtime to see everyone else returning from their 8 mile trek. Hayley and I didn’t realize that everyone was doing the whole 8 miles but we were still satisfied with the route we took. Dinner tonight was on Dr. Li! We took us to an authentic Xi’an style restaurant that Cindy recommended. Hayley and I tried to go to the roller rink after dinner but ended up knocking out oops!IMG_5221IMG_5238

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One of the four generals found in the pits

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Biking on City Wall

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