This has got to be one of the days I was most excited for: we saw the Terra Cotta Warriors! I didn’t really know what to expect going into today, but it definitely wasn’t what we saw. First of all, the Warriors are in multiple pits, but there’s one main one that houses an estimated 6000 out of 8000. You’re shuttled into this big pit with skinny walkways and thousands of tourists looking at one of the most well known Chinese cultural sites. You shuffle down the long walkway and try to push to the front of the crowd for the best view, but you have approximately 20 seconds until you’re pushed out by other people. Also, it seemed like our group was more of an attraction than the Warriors themselves. People were taking pictures of us left and right. At one point, a woman punched my arm and then stuck her camera in my face, expecting a selfie. Needless to say, I smiled and cooperated, but it was a very weird environment and not necessarily one that I’m fond of.
Even with all the shoving and pictures being taken of us, the Warriors were still amazing to see. I also didn’t realize how few of them are complete. Most of them are broken because of a revolt not long after the were built, and it’s estimated to take 500 years to reconstruct all 8000 of them. Anthropologists work tirelessly on rebuilding the Warriors, but they haven’t even touched anything but the first pit.
After a quick, yummy lunch, we headed to the Xi’an City Wall for a scenic bike ride. Chloe, Angeline, Justin, Sabrina and I rode the entire 8 miles around the wall in just over 90 minutes, even allowing a bit of time to stop and take pictures. The ride was long and bumpy, so my wrists hurt a lot.
Tonight is our last night in Xi’an, and Dr. Li treated us to dinner. There was an amazing fried bread that tasted like it had hazelnut paste in it, and I’m disappointed that the second helping we ordered never came 🙁