Day 8: The 9 Mile Race

Today was another day for cultural visits. We started off by driving to the site where they had the Terra Cotta Warriors. When we arrived, it was the perfect time. We got there right before it got super busy. It was such a beautiful site to see. There was rows and rows of soldiers, each one with unique characteristics that made them all real like their own person. We also learned the story behind how this site was found. A farmer who owned the land once found some odd colored dirt started to dig although was advised not to. Eventually he found the site where the Terra Cotta Warriors were and today he has books with his signature on it. The site was cool because you could even see the work being done to some of the statues that were broken and it kind of looked like a hospital for the warriors. Some of the ones had their broken pieces attached to them in a way that made them looked like they had casts.

Next, we went to the city wall. So, the wall that protects Xi’an is 14 km long, which converted to miles makes 8.69 miles. Our plan to get through the whole wall was so much cooler than just walking it, we liked it. As I biked I looked around and saw the whole city of Xi’an and it was beautiful. Each building had a story to tell. I took a small break under some shade and saw a gorgeous building that had a roof completely colored in gold. As I started biking again, there were lots of different women wearing extravagant red dresses. Apparently, these women were taking wedding photos. In Chinese culture, a woman wears red when she gets married and white is worn during funerals. The bike ride was super tiring to be completely honest, but it was such a great experience. For any future study abroad students, I would recommend brings tons of water and making sure you’re in a comfortable outfit.

Today to end our last night in Xi’an we were going back to the Muslim quarters to try and bargain for some cheap gifts. As we walked through a lot of the vendors did not give us prices that seemed reasonable and then we found this little alley way. In this alley way was just rows and rows of shops that sold the same items as all the other outside vendors, but these vendors were willing to bargain. My bargaining began with a dress that I wanted to get my niece. The vendor started the price at $33 USD which is 200 yuan. I knew that was a lot, so I started to walk away and little by little they decreased the price until it was at $10 USD which is about 60 yuan. I bargained for so many gifts it was great. I got everyone on my list for about 50 USD, and there was 12 people. That’s about $4.17 per person which I have to say is pretty sweet, especially for the stuff I got. So, don’t buy anything till you get to Xi’an, because it is so much cheaper in Xi’an and it is great.

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