main attraction for us in Xian consisted of the extraordinary
Terracotta Warriors. A mile and a quarter east of the Tomb of
Emperor Qin Shi Huang lies the Terracotta
and archeological digs. But first we stopped at
a factory that makes replicas of the warriors and horses. The
artisans create their replicas with the same method as the
artisans did 2,200 years ago. One replica in particular had a vaguely familiar
Many of us had seen a small part of this incredible army when
China shipped some of the soldiers over to the States. But we were
unprepared at the sight of 6,000 of them standing where they were
placed over 2,000 years ago. Most of the statues had been crushed
workers had to painstakingly piece them back together. We first
entered Vault One. The immensity of the excavation
overwhelmed us at first. Walking around to the far side, we saw areas with statues
in various stages
of being put back together.
In the third pit of the museum complex stood some imposing bronze horses and
. When we’d finished exploring the museum complex,
we boarded our bus and headed out for lunch. After lunch, we
stopped at a lacquer ware factory.
Lacquer Ware Factory and
To get to our next stop, we passed through the main gate
of the wall
surrounding the city of Xian. The most well-preserved and intact
of the Chinese ancient walls, it looms forty feet-tall and
stretches on for eight-and-a-half miles. During our free time,
some of us ventured to climb the wall and take a walk on it, but
found out that you had to pay to get up there. No matter because
we never did find the entrance to the stairs.
The detailed work of the lacquer ware impressed us quite a bit.
Lacquer screens, reproductions
of the warriors
, and other artifacts filled the adjacent
store. Many of our group bought smaller statues of warriors and
Tang Dynasty Show
Dinner took place in a large room filled with far too many
other tourists. The focus of the room was the stage,
where an actor demonstrated his ritual of making himself up for the show.
The dinner was very crowded with tourists and uncomfortable
seating with waiters banging into backs of chairs as they tried
to thread they way through to serve dishes to the tables. The
food tasted bland and forgettable.
The show, on the other hand, was an eye-pleasing display of
colorful costumes and dance. This memorable performance
ended the evening and ended our tour of Xian. The next morning,
after a breakfast buffet at the hotel, we boarded our bus and
headed for the airport and Beijing.