Here comes the big deal! The thing you’ve all been waiting for! It’s terracotta warrior time!!! Three exclamation points to show how excited I am!
So, we went to the terracotta warriors because, honestly, that’s what people come to Xi’an for. As we told Jacky, the three things people usually think of when asked what’s in China are the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, and the Terracotta Warriors. Instead of going on a hostel led tour, which might have been easier, but definitely more expensive, we did some research and found we could take the 306 bus from the train station parking lot and it would only cost seven kuai per person! Awesome! So off we went.
And we saw the warriors. There were many of them. They all have individual faces. I don’t know if the horses all have individual faces though. Apparently Qin Shi Huang decided he wanted thousands of warriors to accompany him in the afterlife, so he just had thousands of them built, painted, fitted with weaponry, made them a little house, and then sealed them all off. And that’s the way it stayed until some random peasant in the 70s found some of them while digging a well. Now, they are still excavating and piecing together all the bits. It was definitely interesting, even without a guide or anything, and very much awe inspiring.
Also, we found out a secret on the bus; you can go see Qin Shi Huang’s actually tomb on the same ticket that gets you into the terracotta warriors. So we took a free minibus out there and checked it out. Apparently not many people know the secret because it just opened last National Day and none of the exhibits are ready yet. But we did get to the see the mountain that he is buried in. I’m rather unclear on whether he got buried in a mountain, or whether he had the mountain built where he wanted to be buried. I wouldn’t be surprised by either.
So that was that adventure.
Then on the bus ride back everyone fell asleep except me. Jacky almost fell asleep on my shoulder several times, and Emily was also close a couple of times, but alas, no shoulder buddy for me.
And when we arrived home, it was snowing!! yay! So exciting! Xi’an was so very beautiful in the snow. I love how snow softens the harshness of the cold and the austerity of winter. It’s been so cold in Beijing but it hasn’t snowed at all. If it’s going to be cold, it should at least snow, I think. Fun fact: since our hostel is a converted courtyard home, all of the little community spaces are actually courtyards and can, therefore, be snowed in. It was snowing in our hostel. Cool!
Then Emily and I had some “girls who aren’t dating” time and walked the streets in search of adventure and street food. We had some awesome street noodles in the shape of a dumpling, some crackly bread sandwhiches, and some muslim pastries. We also probably walked about three miles in the snow in search of adventure and street food. It was great though. At least I had fun. I like walking around arm in arm with a friend in the snow. I’ll have to try to do it more often. And that was day three!