The Teracotta warriors

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Flag of China  , Shaanxi,
Friday, April 19, 2013

Having departed the overnight train, both of us were absolutely jaded. We e-mailed a hostel the night before with the intention of staying 2 nights there on the premise that they pick us up from the train station. There was no sign of them! Instead, we found a rep from another hostel and stayed there. Xi'an by all accounts was another large city and the day was so wet and cold. It was our intention to visit The Terracotta Warriors on this same day but the weather made us change our plans. We didn't get up to much for the day after that. 

The next day was dry and so we headed off with an Italian guy and his Romanian girlfriend to the Warriors museum. The Terracotta Army or the "Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses", is a collection of sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BC and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife. The figures, dating from around the late third century BC were discovered in 1974 by some local farmers in Lintong District, Xi'an. The figures vary in height according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots and horses. Current estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses. Unfortunately, many figures were damaged due to a fire that broke out in historic times. For that reason, restoration work by archaeologists has been and will be going on forever. Overall, the museum was excellent! That night, we grabbed dinner in the hostel and got talking to two girls who shared our dorm. They were both teaching in China and knew Xi'an well. As they were going for a stroll around the city by night, we decided to join them and have a few drinks after. I skyped home in the wee hours as it was my niece, Clodaghs Communion.

On our final day, we walked around the city. In particular, we visited the drum tower, the bell tower, many different shops and also the hectic Muslim Quarter. The weather that day was as cold as ever so no better way to take our minds off it. Back in the hostel, we finalised our route for the rest of China before catching another overnight train to Chengdu. This train was far worse than the first as it had 6 beds and a man below us who snored the place down. This was becoming the norm as so too had a man in our dorm for the last couple of nights.  
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