ME at the Terra-Cotta Warriors and Soldiers museum

Trip Start Oct 07, 2012
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27
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Trip End Dec 14, 2012


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Flag of China  , Shaanxi,
Friday, November 16, 2012

Today was the day I went to see the Terra-cotta Warriors!!! AMAZING!
I had debated whether to go on a guided tour... but as they can rush you too much I decided to go it alone. The weather was sunny and bright and off i went early...

First i had to find the 603 bus stop which took me to the railway station (1 Yuan  -10p), there by the stop is a pagoda and the city wall. At the station i had to find the 306 bus which went to the Terra-cotta Warrior site - about one hour north east (7 Yuan - 70p).

Xi'an is very flat, it was nice to see some hills as the bus approached the site. I had to find out which was the right stop to get off at, then find my way to the ticket office, from there it was quite a walk to the entrance of the museum, all the way many people want to sell you things. There was a lot of fur for sale here - not sure of the significance of that but ewww i didn't like it.

The site is split into 3 pits- pit 1 being the largest - it is covered by a massive hanger to protect everything. I filmed as i took my first glimpse of the impressive Terra-cotta warriors - it was quite over whelming (as you may tell by my voice and face). I can't believe how massive the site is, how many solders and horses etc there are, and each soldier unique; i mean i have read about it and seen pics but to see it was... unreal and very moving.

the site is massive - look how small the people are in the background - and  inbetween is more and more warriors. Imagine what it must have been like when each of these soldiers was carrying a weapon!


As i wandered round looking at all the beautiful clay warriors, i kept 'bumping' into an old guy, we ended up 'trying' to communicate, and laughing, I offered to take his pic in front of the warriors, and he took mine, then he wanted to take my pic and i took his, then we wandered the rest of the way round at the same time - taking the odd pic for one another and laughing as we couldn't really communicate much. Then i almost missed taking my pic of the well (the well that the farmers were digging when they came accross the site.) so i ran back a bit to do it fast, I lost my friend at this point for a moment, then spotted him sitting with his wife. So i went to say hello to her too and took their picture together - she was very happy about it :o)

Some of the site hasn't yet been excavated - it just looks like tons of rock-hard, baked earth, I am amazed how they can excavate anything from such a place!!! I touched the earth just over the barrier - it may sound silly but it was a cool thing to do as it was like touching the earth the soldiers were in!!


Pit 2 isn't as big but is still massive and impressive when you see what it holds... and there is so much work still to be done. There are some warriors in cases that you can take pics of - up close - i love the detail.








I'd read that "Yang Shi Fa", the only one of the farmers that discovered the Terra-cotta warriors still alive today, is sometimes in the museum shop to sign books, so i went to see if he was there. I found it odd how many People ignored him or got a book signed but didn't acknowledge him. In my best Chinese i said i was pleased to meet him. I found myself looking at his hands wondering he he had farmers hands, but thinking and wondering how long is it since he has had to farm?!?!?
So i got his signature and photo and video of him. Funny to think I had read somewhere that the farmers who discovered the site didn't know the significance of it and had used some of the heads as pots!

Pit 3 is smallest but still amazing!!  so after i saw all 3 pits, then had to head back to 1 again before i left, on my way back to find my bus, a guy waved a box of Terra-cotta warrior figures and asked if i wanted to them for 20, i haggled a bit he went to 10, then when i handed him my money he said " which one you want" so i held on to the box and said Oh no no - you offered me them all, i want my 10 back, he tried asking me for 40, 30, i said i will have what you offered, or my 10 back. i said you know what you are doing, that's cheeky. He relented and quite rightly so as 10 was normal price. Can't stand that kind of thing, conmen! where as I happily helped the old lady who was asking for empties...

She was shouting to folk and waving a plastic bottle,  (lots of folk collect them here - you see folk getting them out of bins). Another little old lady was selling some plum like fruits - i didn't want a
lot so just bought 1 - paid way too much but she was nice and so was the fruit!.

A guy was selling some mini kites, they were quite cool all blowing in a string way up to the sky, i didn't take a pic!! I bought a hot sweet potato to warm me up as it had been really cold in the hangers and buildings. then i headed off and found my bus (after numerous taxi drivers asked if i wanted a taxi).










 


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Comments

jean redden on

Oh what a fantastic day you have had . I can't get my mind round the fact that all that effort was for one mans tomb. I wonder if the people did it out of love or fear . Did they get paid or were they slaves .I must find out more.

Steven on

I'd imagine they were slaves similar to the Great Wall.

Little miss confident there, glad to see your soaking up as much as you can. Cracking post :) x

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