Today we started the day with another delicious Chinese breakfast. I ate a bunch of dumplings and they had some really good pineapple. After breakfast we took the bus to see the terra-cotta warriors. There are 8,000 warriors but only 2,000 have been uncovered because when they are unearthed, the oxidation causes the color to fade away, so they stopped excavating them to preserve them. We found out that it was a farmer named Mr. Yang who was responsible for discovering the terra-cotta warriors because they were buried on his land. I think its absolutely incredible that people in ancient China build 8,000 statues, each different from the last, just to protect the emperor in his afterlife. Also, the statues are built to be over 6 feet tall because back then no one was actually that tall so the emperor would have the biggest warriors to protect him but it’s funny because some of the guys in our group are the same size as the statues. It was really cool to see them in real life because I remember learning about them in school and being completely fascinated. There were several different pits with excavated warriors and when we got to the main pit it was so crowed because everyone wanted to take a picture so there was a huge crowed and we had to literally fight our way to the front. It was worth it though because I got some pretty good pictures.
After the terra-cotta warriors, we to lunch at, surprise, another Chinese restaurant. It was buffet style and they had some pretty good food. I particularly enjoyed the ramen. They also had some really cool desserts. There were little cakes, biscuits, and something that looked like jello. I wasn’t really sure what it was but it was all pretty good.
When we finished lunch, we headed to the Xi’an City Wall. Unfortunately, there was a dust storm, so the air quality was absolutely terrible so, in true Chinese fashion, we all had to wear those little masks, so we didn’t inhale the dust. On the wall, we rented bikes to go around the entire 9 mile rectangle. After so much walking, my legs were already pretty tired so I didn’t think I would enjoy biking, but it was actually pretty fun. We had to wear sunglasses, so the dust didn’t go in our eyes—although I ended up with dust in my eyes anyway—so between the masks, glasses, and helmets, our entire faces were covered. It was cool to bike along the wall, however the stone road made the ride really bumpy and biking one way the wind was blowing very hard pushing against us, so it was a pretty good workout.
We then made our way back to the hotel and just had dinner there, since the air quality was so poor and we didn’t want to walk out. Ali, Katie, and I ended up going to the restaurant with western food because, although the Chinese food is really good, having it for every meal is a lot after a week, so it was nice to get a sandwich and fries. We also had ice cream which, by the way, tasted very different than American ice cream. It was icy-er and more similar to a sorbet. Nonetheless, it was pretty good. When we finished dinner, I was so exhausted I just went back to my room, packed, and went to bed so I would be ready to leave at 7 am. Xie xie Xi’an for a great time and Shanghai, here I come!