Xi’an

12/1

Well I can happily say that I made it safe and sound to Xi’an. We took the bullet train on Saturday from Luoyang to Xi’an. Although I slept off and on, I did see the speedometer reach 200kmph which is roughly 124mph. Pretty fast, huh? Xi’an is an interesting place to say the least. I suppose I had a preconceived idea of what Xi’an was going to look like before I got here because I was absolutely shocked when we walked out of the train station and into a city that looked exactly like Beijing. In fact, other than the historical background of Xi’an, I call it a mini Beijing. The traffic was horrific (in fact, our bus driver hit a moped, another bus and came close to hitting a pedestrian all while trying to get us to our hotel.) Compared to Luoyang, the hotel is a lot cleaner and a lot nicer.

We didn’t do much on our first day other than wander over to the Great Mosque. It was right smack in the middle of a giant shopping center (yes, I went shopping again). It was an interesting blend of Chinese architecture and Islamic architecture. It was kind of weird to see Islamic writing on Chinese style pagodas. We did not spend a lot of time there because we had dinner reservations to get to.

Our second day in Xi’an was spent visiting the Terracotta Warriors and visiting the City Wall. The Terracotta warriors are the one thing I wanted to see above all else during my trip to China and now I have seen them. I can go home happy. The detail on the each soldier is amazing. If I didn’t know better, I could have sworn that the soldiers were real people encased in stone. No two faces have been unearthed that have been the same, there were over one hundred thousand bronze weapons found, some of which are still sharp and probably usable, and there were two bronze horse drawn carriages found. It is astounding to think that over 2,200 years ago, the Chinese people were creating such a detailed and magnificent burial site. I suppose it also shows the dedication of the people to their emperor. Much like the Egyptians made the pyramids for their fallen pharaohs  this burial site was made for the first emperor of China. Walking into the pits was like walking back in time. I am so happy that I got to see the 兵马杨 (Terracotta Warriors).

Our next stop was the City Wall. It was apparently the oldest and most intact city wall in China and one of the largest and most complete ancient military defense systems in the world. It was cool that I got to see this historical place but had I not known the history beforehand, I probably would have just said “oh look at the pretty wall that looks like every other wall in China.” Sad to say, there was really nothing spectacular about it except its history.

Now we move onto Chengdu. I am a little apprehensive about going to Chengdu as it is in the Sichuan Province; the Sichuan province is known for their spicy food, so we will see how that goes….

Until Next Time,

Ashley

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