The day I had been waiting for all trip had finally come: our visit to the Terra-Cotta Warriors. Sadly, the day got off to a not-so-great start. It was unexpectedly rainy and cold, souring the mood from the beginning. When we finally reached the enclosure with the warriors, the site of row upon row of handcrafted history erased my prior ill feelings. Warriors and horses alike stood tall in razor-edged lines, some partially or even fully enclosed in the surrounding ground. As we progressed through the multiple enclosures, much to my surprise, a good deal of the tourists were focusing not only on the attraction, but on my peers and I. Many asked for photos with us, or even attempted to take sneaky shots throughout the museum. I was slightly startled by the attention at first, but after getting the idea to take pictures of the people taking pictures of us, the attention became a rather entertaining game (for one of my better works, see the attached picture).
After seeing the warriors, we embarked on an 8 mile bike ride on the Xi’an city wall. It was a beautiful day: not too hot, not too cold, moderately sunny. The view of the city from the wall was breathtaking (as was riding a bike for an hour and a half, something I had not done in quite a long time). We spent the ride having leisurely banter about the city, study abroad, and China in general. We went a little too leisurely though; we arrived back at the meeting point around 15 minutes late!
Later that night, a group of students and I stumbled upon a roller rink about a 5 minute walk from the hotel! For around $4, we enjoyed a night of lights, music, and roller skating with Xi’an young locals. An eventful day, but a rewarding one!