I remember my senior year of high school sitting in my AP Art History class learning about the Terracotta Warriors. It looked like a remarkable feat of artist endeavor with nearly 8,000 terracotta sculptures, each unique, reflecting the individual soldiers buried with the first Emperor of China upon his death. From then on, this was on my bucket list, something I must see at least once in my life.
Thanks to this trip, I can cross it off and say it did not disappoint. It seems like that has been the running theme for this trip; no picture, history, or background can prepare for the sights China offers. Just like the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, pictures could not prepare me for the magnitude and expanse of these marvels.
Though it was impossible to get up close and personal with these figures because it is still under excavation, taking years until it completes, the figures were remarkable, many smashed or vandalized and pieced back together by hand.
After this incredible experience, we went back to the city of Xi’an, a city that I am starting to like more and more each day, to bike on their city wall. Though it may not be called “great,” I certainly would attach such a moniker to it. Biking the eight miles of perimeter gave an unique view of the city, and some much needed exercise after eating my way through China. My bike chain came off halfway through the ride, and had to go back to get a new one, but that did not slow me down, and can proudly say I biked the entirety of the wall!