Day 8: Way of the Warrior

May 13, 2018

I woke up this morning feeling sad because it was the first time that I couldn’t celebrate Mother’s Day with my mom. But, I was also excited because we were going to visit the Terra Cotta Warriors. We left the hotel really early, so we could beat the rush, and when we arrived, there were barely any other tourists there. The whole site is divided into four different pits, each one with a different layout. Terra Cotta warriors are so interesting because they represent each type of warrior in the Chinese army. It is also really cool because the warriors were discovered underground by accident. The first part of the site found was a brick wall. Little did they know that that wall would lead to a whole army made of clay. I was amazed at how detailed these sculptures were: starting from the hair to the facial expressions to their stance and finally the outfits. My favorite part of the site was in the second pit. This was where they had highlighted five of the top officials in the army, which included the Middle-ranking Officer, Kneeling Archer, High-ranking Officer, Cavalryman with his Saddled War-horse and Standing Archer. These figures were a crucial part of the army, which made them even more intriguing.

After seeing the warriors, we had a big lunch in a restaurant upstairs. It was buffet style and I ate a little too much…oops. That was alright, though, because I knew we were headed to the City Wall for a bike ride. It was created to fortify the city of Xi’an during the Ming Dynasty. We were in for a fourteen kilometer, or eight and a half mile, adventure around the wall. It was a great workout, but it was also extremely sunny and hot outside, so I sweat out a lot of calories. You could see across the city of Xi’an from all directions: it was amazing. In addition to the view, it was also a popular spot for couple to take wedding pictures. The women were wearing traditional red dresses and the men were wearing suits. It was nice being able to ride around and enjoy the sights, even though it was hot. The bike ride was worth all the sweat and exhaustion.

Since we were all sweaty after our ride, we headed back to the hotel to shower and relax for a little bit. Dr. Li then decided to bring us to this restaurant in the Muslim Quarter for dinner. What was interesting about this place was that Bill Clinton was supposed to eat there when he visited China but couldn’t due to a slight change in plans. This restaurant is famous for its lamb soup which also included noodles made of potato, mushrooms and bread squares. It was probably one of the best soups I’ve ever had. What was impressive about this restaurant was that they only had one chef. It is usually not that crowded because the locals think that it is too expensive, but it attracts many tourists. It is a special dish in Xi’an and I cannot express how much I enjoyed this meal!

We ended the night just walking around the area again visiting street vendors here and there. Some sweet mango drinks at Mango Kingdom for dessert was the perfect ending to our adventure in Xi’an. We headed back to the hotel and went to bed afterwards because we needed to wake up early the next day. Last stop to come: Shanghai.

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