Day 7: Bikes, Blades, Burgers, and Broken Warriors

This cool and rainy morning we visited the famous Terra Cotta warriors located in the massive tomb of the first Chinese Emperor. We saw three different pits that made up the entirety of the collection of warriors, most of which were destroyed during the transition out of the first dynasty. Due to the number of warriors in the tomb and the meticulousness with which they were constructed, it expected to take approximately 500 more years to finish reconstructing all the warriors to restore the section of the tomb to its ancient state. As of now only 1000 of the original 8000 warriors have been rebuilt and many are still in the process of being excavated. In the first pit was the location of most of the reconstructed warriors and was the most crowded as a result. The subsequent pits we decreasingly reconstructed which resulted in the view not being as interesting as there wasn’t anything to see. Only a small fraction of the third pit was even excavated and all the excavated remains of the warriors were in pieces.

After the visit of the ruins, we had a lunch that was unique compared to the other meals we’ve had thus far. Instead of dishes being brought out by the chefs, the meal was buffet-style. Most of the dishes in the buffet were various types of noodles but some of the dishes were different and interesting. One dish was nicknamed “Chinese hamburger” and was a hollow bread bun stuffed with pork.

After lunch, we traveled to Xi’an’s ancient city wall, which is one of China’s most well-preserved city walls. It’s still standing almost exactly as it did thousands of years ago. We were given the opportunity to bike around the full eight-mile loop formed by the wall. We started from the north wall and on the south wall, we were required to get off our bikes for a walk-only section in which we took many pictures of the surrounding city. Due to the massive population of the modern city, most of the buildings, especially the residential buildings lie outside the walls and are significantly taller than those inside. Cindy told us that this was to ensure that the historic drum tower, which we visited yesterday, would not be overshadowed by other structures. The bike ride was enjoyable and relaxing aside from the unevenness of the bricks on the wall, which made for a bumpy ride.

Tonight, a small group of our class went to a roller-skating rink that is only a five-minute walk from the hotel. Everyone who was skating was so talented and experienced, performing tricks and riding around the rink backward. This made for an intimidating scene for someone completely new to roller-skating, such as myself. I picked up on the technique rather quickly but the people shooting around the rink going 20 miles an hour every which was a scary sight. Even the most experienced skaters in the rink were colliding into each other, which made me even more nervous as I was just trying to skate normally without falling. I, along with a few others, didn’t think this was the most comfortable environment to learn how to skate, so we left for the hotel a little early. I’d love to go to another roller-skating rink in the United States. I just hope it’s less crazy than the one here.

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