Hereacotta, Thereacotta, Terracotta Everywhere !!!

Trip Start Feb 09, 2012
Trip End Mar 03, 2012

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Where I stayed
Grand New World Hotel Xi'an
Read my review - 5/5 stars
What I did
Bell Tower (Zhonglou) Xi'an
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Great Mosque Xi'an
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Xi'an Muslim Quarter

Flag of China  , Shaanxi,
Friday, February 17, 2012

Up early this morning and had a great breakfast at the Hotel to get us started for the day. Rang Mum in New Zealand for her 79th Birthday. She is having a great day.  At 8.30 we headed out of the city to the northeast for 40 or so kilometers to the Terracotta Warriors and Soldiers Museum. Firstly we called into a Government Factory that manufactured the Soldier Replicas out of real terracotta,unlike many replicas available. It was great to see how they were made in separate pieces and assembled to make a single statue. There was also a lot of other things available to buy here and send home. Furniture, Silk Products, Clothes, Jade and Ornaments to name a few. Replicas came in all sizes. This was a great place.
Ever onward we next arrived at the Xi'an Expo Park and walked through it to the three museum halls where the Warriors  are. To get here you run a gauntlet of stall-holders keen to unload their stuff on you. There is some interesting things here, Fridge magnets,kites, fake terracotta Warriors, Alsatian Dog pelts, food, maybe Alsatian dog kebabs. Then we came across a wonderful roundabout on the walkway in the form of a diorama of a dozen or so bronze wild horses frolicking over a rock outcrop. It was fantastic and looked very energetic.

 Hall No.1 holds the most complete show of warriors and they look amazing. We spent some time in here taking it all in. around the side of the hall you can see warriors with their paint on still, and at the back there is still some excavation going on. They have a long way to go. many of the warriors have to be repaired for display.

After a beautiful rice and pasta lunch at the Cafeteria, we moved into the second hall that has a lot of excavation to be done. The horse and carts are in this area, and individual statues of the different types of warrior. The Exhibition hall is more like a museum for things found in the area and has a spectacular display of the horses and carts.  

We also saw a movie explaining how the warriors got there and how they were rediscovered by a local peasant farmer who is still alive today and no longer a peasant. I bought a book and he. autographed it for me.   

We spent the next hour and a bit getting back to Xi'an and went into the Muslim Quarter. Julie was fearful of pickpockets but we didn't see what she was worried about. this was a great time spent in the market stalls and eventually we got to the Xi'an Great Mosque. 

This is an old and venerable establishment built from 1392 until 1398. It is at the end of a garden walk with gates and nice plantings of shrubs and trees. The Mosque has no domes or minarets and is built completely in a Chinese style. The only way you would know it was a Mosque is the Arabic writing and prayer time clocks. It was a peaceful and quiet place like most Mosques we have been to.

Our next little walk took us to the Bell Tower in the meeting place of the four main Boulevards of Xi'an. I took a photo of Grant in front of the Chief Post Office and we surveyed the area from up by the bell. We wandered back to the van through another part of the market that was gearing up for evening meals on the street. It was a nice stroll. We were fagged out on our return to the Hotel so went straight to the bar before dinner and had Singapore slings and Gins and tonics to relax. Suitably plonked we went for a lovely tea in the Hotel dining room,and retired to bed at 9.


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