Day 8: Biking with Warriors

When you think of China, a nation with so much rich history, there are a lot of landmarks that come to mind such as the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, and today we visited one of those great landmarks, the Terracotta Warriors Museum. I was excited to go to a place where yet again I never imagined I would visit and see in person. When we got there, I saw that there were various buildings, each containing pieces to a whole collection of the warrior statues. In many of the buildings you can see that the archaeologists have yet to dig up everything. While at the museum our tour guide explained to us how a farmer discovered that entire site while trying to dig up a well. I think the coolest part of the visit was seeing the bronze exhibit. In this exhibit we saw some of the artifacts that instead of clay were made with bronze. Now, looking around in the different buildings was interesting, but today was a really hot day and the heat was getting the best of me.

As we were heading out I was surprised and shocked to greet the very long hot tread back to the bus. I had started to notice a trend in all these national museums we have visited. No opportunity to get tourists to buy is passed on. After every visit you will have to go through a long path of stores to buy food and souvenirs. Frankly I respect it, but after a while all I wanted to do was rest my feet in a cool room, and the bus was good enough. When we finally got to the bus I was out like a light and all of a sudden woke up to lunch. Again, after lunch I blinked, and we were all being awaken for our next thing on the agenda.

Though I was tired and would’ve enjoyed another hour of napping, I was excited because we were going biking along the city walls of Xi’an. I haven’t ridden a bike in years. I can’t even remember the last time I was on one, but hey, you never forget how to ride a bike. At one of the entrances we went up some stairs to get to the top of the 12-meter-tall wall. Along the trail you can see a lot of people walking, jogging and biking. There were numerous places along the wall where anyone could rent a bike, which we did. The city walls are 14 kilometers long or about 9 miles. I’ve never been used to long distance biking, but today was the day and it actually went well, despite the bike being a little too big for me. When we started our biking journey, I immediately knew why this would be one of my favorite things done in China. The view was amazing. Along the wall, there were many events being held along the wall, and the most prominent were wedding photoshoots. I passed by so many of them while biking. It made sense because the views in those pics were probably breath taking.

After we got back to the hotel I was yet again exhausted from a long day, but after a short nap, we all decided to go back to the Muslim market by the hotel to buy souvenirs. I love bargaining, and this was a perfect place to freshen up on my skills. I wanted to get some gifts for my family and some things for myself as well. It was fun going a round and talking prices down by 70%. I even helped some of my friends barter for better prices. I was able to purchase a little transformer toy, and some chopsticks. I’ve accomplished much today.

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