Sandy in Xi’an

Today was our last day in Xi’an before we leave for Shanghai tomorrow morning. Our first stop was at the Terra-Cotta Warriors. While there, I took a picture with a Chinese lady who wanted a picture. We toured the museum, pit two, and then pit one. I liked the museum because it held the best surviving warriors. I was able to see them very close up and they were all in great condition. Dr. Li also shared the story of how they were discovered. A Chinese farmer was digging on his land when we discovered the warriors. Apparently, the man is now very wealthy because of it. I also didn’t realize that the Terra-Cotta Warriors were only discovered forty or so years ago.

After the museum, we went to pit two. Pit one is the best pit, so we left that for last. Pit two was a bit underwhelming. There were only a few warriors in the pit and a lot of broken ones. We got a group photo in front of replica warriors.

After pit two we went to pit one. Pit one was home to the rows of warriors. What I wasn’t expecting was that it was also an active working site; there were warriors being studied right next to the pits. Our tour guide, Kevin, shared that the warriors were actually painted in red, blue, and other colors. However, when they are excavated, the oxidation causes the paint to fall off. Pit one was massive, but the famous rows of warriors were located near the front. A mob of people was also conveniently located there. I somehow quickly got to the front row. Taking pictures proved to be difficult since I was getting shoved in every direction. I did get some great pictures which I am happy about. Getting out of the crowd of people was way harder; people were too worried about taking my place that I couldn’t even leave. Overall, I was a bit disappointed with the Terra-Cotta Warriors; I thought there was going to be a lot more. The experience was still cool, though.

After the Terracotta Warriors, we went to the city wall in Xi’an. There was a dust storm that rolled in, so Liliana bought us all masks to wear. I figured masks would be needed because of smog, but not sand. While on the city wall, we rode bikes around the perimeter which was about nine miles. The amount of dust that got in my eyes was insane because of the sand storm. Riding around the wall was neat because it was also a little tour of the city. The ride on the wall was very bumpy and my legs were a bit soar after.

Due to the sand storm, we joined Dr. Li in the hotel’s restaurant for dinner. This dinner might have been my favorite meal of the trip, so far. Dr. Li ordered for us and ordered many local dishes only available in Xi’an. There was lamb soup, lamb ribs, dumplings, several different noodles, a bun with a mix of peppers, and chicken. I loved the bun and peppers, the dumplings, and the lamb ribs. Also, we were served jasmine tea which was delicious.

I liked Xi’an more than Beijing because it was smaller and the locals were a lot nicer. In Beijing, people stared rudely and it was so busy. In Xi’an, the locals still stared and took pictures, but they either kept their distance or asked. I am very excited for Shanghai, but it’s starting to feel like the trip is almost over.

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