Monday, May 16, 2011

Xian, Warriors, Horses and a big Goose

Howdy all! Sorry, but photo uploading doesnt't seem to be working right now, looks like I will have to wait until I am out of China. Which should, touch wood, be tomorrow. I have a flight to Urumqi, a six hour wait in that airport (guaranteed to be the highlight of the whole trip!) and then off to Almaty, Kazakhstan.

But that is still the future, I am here to fill avid readers such as myself and a couple of my relatives in on the events since I arrived, battered, bruised but not broken, in Xi'an.
Saturday saw me ride the bus out to the Army of the Terra Cotta Warriors, and horses (some signs actually add 'and horses'). Saturday, by the way, is not the best day to see busy tourists sites in many countries - China is no exception. The throngs were out en masse which was a bit overwhelming. But hey, for every tourist there were probably two soldiers.
There are three pits full of soldiers all there to protect Emporer Qin in his sleep, 1.5km away. I think the total number unearthed is around 10,000 but I am not sure. Pit One has 6,000, Pit Three has 85 and they didn't give a number on Pit Two as they are still excavating, but the pit is nearly the size of Pit One (I am guessing) although there aren't a lot of soldiers there (or indeed horses) but they could be off being cleaned, repaired or touring the world.
Yes it's very impressive, and indeed amazing. The crowds, as is the tradition in China, give you very little room to breath and getting through the gate I felt distinctly like one cow in a herd of cattle. But this is with out a doubt a don't miss for anyone's trip to China.
A shuttle bus runs you to Emporer Qin's tomb, however there is not much to see there except for a very nice garden and a dance performance that was rather good. It's extensive grounds, pleasant to stroll around in.

Xi'an itself has many cites worth the visitor's time. The Great Mosque is a tranquil little spot in the city's intriguing Muslim Quarter, and I took a bike ride along the restored city walls, probably around 12-15km in total. Very impressive stuff, although I think if ine chose to walk it you'd be bored rather quickly, and the whole circuit takes around four hours to walk, according to the book.
Today I arrived at the Shaanxi Museum to find it shut on a Monday - a trap I have fallen into at a few museums this trip. But I did visit the towering Big Wild Goose Pagoda. The grounds are large and very interesting, with plenty to keep one interested for an hour or two. The weather has really warmed up over the last couple of days too, well into the 30s today.

So it's a pity there are no photos for you to look at, but this just about does my time in China. I do want to post briefly about some 'Chinglish' signs I took photos of though! Need the photos for that. Tomorrow a completely new region of the world for me - Central Asia. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading your blog, Andrew.

Hope all going well at your next stop.

from Nola, Nao and MJB.