Cold and rainy today and we headed off to the Museum first and saw items from different dynasties as well as more about the terracotta warriors.
wishing tree at the Museum
beautiful flowering bonsai
museum wall which reminded me of our night at the opera house
Then to the Drum Tower and Bell Tower. The Bell Tower was used to tell the time to the people. There was a back street and subway entrance to the Bell Tower with small shops and our guide bought flower headbands for the two of us. From the Bell Tower,you could look in N,S,E,W directions in the old part of town as it is situated in the centre.
East street view from the top of the Bell Tower
street link to Muslim street
Then it was off to the Muslim quarter. The market area was a buzz of activity, excitement and noise, despite the bad weather. There were lots of food stalls including meat kebabs, candy, cakes … as well as places to buy souvenirs, clothing, jewellery and so on. Our guide took us first for lunch where we had meat buns and beef soup and after she bought Paul a kind of peanut brittle to satisfy his sweet tooth.
meat stalls including kebabs
After visiting the Xian mosque whih was centrally located in the market area, we continued on through the market but then back to the hotel for a warm and pleasant cappuccino in our warm hotel!
We were excited about today because we were to be seeing the terracotta warriors… and we weren’t disappointed. First we went to the old city walls and started at the North wall. There are over 13 km of wall surrounding the old city but we only walked one quarter of that distance. Lots of people were hirig bikes (either single or tandem) nd that would have been good also because there is lots of space and notmany people … you just have to be careful on the corrigations in the paved walkway. There are gardens which surround the old city walls and many Chinese people were exercising, playing gamesordoing tai chi (this is usual practice for people to use the gardens in this way).
gardens looking from the old wall, Xian
Buddhist temple, looking from the old walls
street view from the old wall
us on the old wall
After the wall, we went to a Chinesetea house for tea tasting … we had jasmine tea, dragon well tea and an xi tie guan yin tea. All were good and then we had our guides favourite meal – noodles with chilli and vegetables using very wide noodles.
having tea with our tea host
After lunch it was off to see the terracotta warriors but not before a visit to the shop to meet the farmer who discovered the terracotta fragments when making a well.So we bought the book and got a photo with him signing our book … very lucky. The terracotta warriors were fascinating and also was the ongoing process of gently uncovering more of the warriors. The faces are all different on the warriors and our guide explained how different features like the hairstyle differentiated between warriors. The Emporer Qin was young when he began his leadership and construction of his mausoleum began when he was only 14 and lasted for36years. He was known for the unification of China. The terracotta warriors are only part of his tomb complex but there are thousands of them about 5 metres underground. They wre coloured but apparently exposure to air has caused the colours to fade. It is a fascinating place to visit.
us and the warriors
Early start today for a plane trip to Xian and we arrived in the afternoon to be picked up by our new guide Zo. We stopped briefly at our hotel, Grand Noble Hotel, and then on to see the Wild Goose Pagoda. Xian is a very historical city with old city walls and was the beginning of the Silk Road. The pagoda was built in memory of the Emporer Tang’s mother and housed the Buddhist scriptures of the Chinese monk Xuan Zang who travelled west to India and back in search of the scriptures to bring back to China and then translate.
monk with Wild Goose Pagoda in background
us at Wild Goose Pagoda
Paul doing Chinese calligraphy
dancing at Xian Opera House
We went to the Opera House to have a dumpling banquet and watch a show of dance and music with wonderful, colourful traditional costumes. That was worth seeing despite being sotired from our very ealy start.
dancing warriors at Xian Opera House
dancing with scarves