Xi'an Day 1:
When arrived in Xi'an last night there was a note in our room saying there would not be hot water from 10pm until 6pm the following night. We all showered that night and didn't think much of it. However, when the hot water was turned off, they also turned off the heat. The language barrier was a challenge at the front desk as they tried to explain the problem. Luckily, when we got back to the hotel that night there was heat and hot water after 6:00 like the note had said.
Today the major attraction was the Terracotta Warriors, which is really the only reason we traveled to Xi'an. The warriors were built over 2,000 years ago Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. He wanted to build the army because they believed in reincarnation and the army would protect him in his next life. He had his gigantic moselium built just 1.5 km away from the warriors. After he died, the rebels broke into the caves where the warriors were stored and destroyed all but one! There is one kneeling archer that remained almost perfectly intact, but the rest were in pieces. Chris said it takes two archaeologists 6 months to put one solider back together. Therefore, right now there are 2,000 warriors that have been put back together and still 5,000 more to go! She said it will take 2 or 3 generations to finish the project.
The warriors are so fascinating because every soldier is unique; no two are alike! There were over 7,000 soldiers were made and over 700,000 people created them! With a project of this scale, it took almost 40 years to finish.
The museum is divided into different buildings. First you go watch an English movie in a wraparound theater room that neither the equipment or film has been updated since 1975. In this building you can also have a book signed by Mr. Young, who is the farmer who discovered the warriors by accident in 1974 when he was digging a well. Now his job is to sit and sign books all day long, but you can't take any pictures. The second building is Pit 1, the main pit, which if you have any seen pictures of the warriors it was probably from Pit 1. Pit 1 is still an active archaeological site in the back and in the front is where the reconstructed soldiers stand. It is an absolutely incredible site as each one has its own distinct facial features, all 7,000 of them. When the rebels broke into the caves, they stole all of the brass weapons out of the soldiers hands and then crushed the remains. Today the soldiers stand with fists wrapped around as if the weapons were still in their hands.
After that we went onto Pit 2, Pit 3, and to see the brass horse drawn carriages in a different building. It was crowded in the smaller buildings and I can't imagine what it is like here in the high season.
We headed back into the city to see the Big Goose Pagoda, which was built about 1,300 years ago. It's amazing how the structure has been preserved. The surrounding buildings were all new within the last 5 years but were constructed to look old.
The day ended with a western style dinner at the hotel and packed up our bags to head to the airport first thing in the morning. Next up is Shanghai! We are really going to miss our personal tour guide, Dan, here but his friend Danny is going to meet up with us on Sunday. Danny is going to bring the remains from Dan's apartment and take us out for a local dinner.
As Chen said in Beijing, it is tradition in China that the boy's family buys an apartment and the girl's family buys the fridge, TV, and other electronics. So unless you are a very wealthy family who wants a son to carry on the family name, many people wish for a girl because then they don't have the burden of buying an apartment for their son and his wife. Our guide here is 31 and still lives at home with her parents. She mentioned apartments, marriage and other related topics multiple times throughout the day. Think she is getting pressured to find a man with an apartment?