Wednesday 14 November , Xian , 4c - 14c, Sunny
At the moment it's -3c!
Oh my god!! Back in the room last night after a few drinks, it was getting really hot. The air con doesn't work so l called the concierge and after much discussion they allowed us to change rooms. It was right across the hall so not that much of a big deal shifting everything, even though it looked like a bomb had gone off in it but Debbie, unbeknown to us, had been asleep and was pissed that she had been woken just to change rooms. Mum and l were in the bad books and probably still are this morning. However this room is so much cooler.
Today we are on our way to see the Terracotta Warriors. We're quite excited about it. We saw some in the museum yesterday but this'll be much better. We're not so tired today either although l'm still rocking from the movement of the train 2 nights ago.
The warriors are about 35 k's east of Xian but because of the traffic it will take us about an hour to get there. We've just stopped at the terracotta factory where they showed us how they make all the statues of the warriors and horses etc. They also lacquer furniture etc there as well. It's pretty nice stuff.
It was in March 1974, when local farmers were drilling a well in search of water, that large pottery fragments were discovered 1.5 k's east of Emperor Qin's mausoleum. These finds led to the revelation of one pit of the First Emperors buried army 2,200 years ago. Since then, continual work on the excavation discovered another two pits. The three underground pits totally cover an area of 22,000 square meters, housing an estimated 8,000 life size pottery warriors and horses. Pit 1 houses the main force of the army and It has a rectangular shape with chariots and ranks of 6,000 soldiers arranged in a war formation - a vivid display of Emperor Qin Shi Huang's formidable army Pit 2 is a complex battle formation formed by charioteers, archers, cavalrymen and infantrymen. It's Situated about 20 meters northeast of Pit 1, Pit 2 is the most spectacular of three pits. Though the terracotta figures in Pit 2 are almost the same as those in Pit 1, the battlefield formation in Pit 2 is more complex and the arms of soldiers are more complete. Pit 3 is situated about 25 meters to the north of western end of Pit 1. It is a concave structure covering an area of 520 square meters. Since there is no combat formation in Pit 3 but only 68 warriors and one chariot, archaeology experts speculate that it is very likely to be the command post for the whole army. The army stood with their backs facing the Emperor's mausoleum, serving as guardians to protect the entrance of the mausoleum.
The Terracotta Warriors were awesome!! The pit where they were discovered is massive. It cost 100,000 yuan and 9 months to piece together and preserve one warrior. It is a pretty impressive and amazing site. And to think they were only discovered just over 30 years ago! I bought a book about them and the farmer who discovered them was there and he signed the book. For 10 extra yuan l got a photo with him. We had lunch at the restaurant which was pretty good. The beef noodle soup was to die for and they even made and cooked the noodles in front of you. Toilets were 1 star. Drago bought the extra beer with lunch….he got ripped off as it was 20 yuan here, yesterday I paid 15 yuan.
So now Debbie's taking a look at my camera 'cause l've done something to it and can't upload anymore photos. Soon we'll be at the Muslim Markets, this will be the last markets we'll visit while in China. We picked up a few more souvenirs and a few other little bits and pieces as well as beautiful pictures of Peasant Paintings by the famous wood cut artist, Ding Jitang. He was actually in the shop so we got a photograph of him and his daughter and upon leaving we were each presented with a booklet of postcards showing a lot of the paintings he's done. They really are quite beautiful and it was hard selecting one to take home. Also, in front of the shop there was an A frame board telling you all about Ding and then at the bottom was a couple of lines about how this guy from Bendigo Australia, is Ding's friend and was vouching for him....small world huh!!! Tonight is a dinner and dance show. So first we had dinner and then stayed in the same seats to watch the Tang Dynasty Music and Dance show.
The Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show, is a wonderful performance of the ancient music and dance. As an art form, the show has its roots in folk fetes, when dances were first performed by people as part of rituals of prayer for a good harvest or a better life. Over thousands of years, the dances developed from a few simple postures or gestures to become delicate and artistic reaching a peak during the Tang Dynasty. The show presented today is a recreation of a traditional entertainment attributable to a great variety of historical records and relics.
The show was beautiful and the music and costumes wonderful. We were given a leaflet with explanations on what each of the dances and music was about so it made the opera much more enjoyable.
We have to pack our suitcases tonight as they're being collected at 8am tomorrow morning. So, back at the hotel we started packing. I didn't realize how much stuff we'd bought and was very grateful we'd bought the extra suitcase. Mum and l went down to the lounge for one last drink while Deb went to bed early as she's caught a cold and hasn't been feeling too well these last couple of days.