Day 8 - June 21.: Arriving in Xi'An around 7 in the morning we got straight into the waiting bus. After checking in and a quick shower Nicole took us n a tour through the center of the city to show us where to find the essentials. Starting at a cofee shop, to wake us properly up, and progressing on to landry place, internet cafe.
We ate lunch at this dumpling place. It was the first time I've had dumplings and it was a genuinely positive experience It was also the first time in China that I felt completely full after having a chinese meal.
After lunch we walked through the muslim quarter with all it's shopping stands. A ton of stuff too look at and/or buy, but you better know how to haggle
Xi'An is a relatively easy city to get around so to find our way back to the landry place later that night was no problem.
Day 9 - June 22.: We got up early and went out and got breakfast (yoghurt), some snacks and drinks for the day. At 10 we met the rest of the group in the lobby ready for the days excursion to the teracotta warriors 30 km outside of the city.
There was several people who hadn't thought about provisions for the day so we had to stop at a supermarket ont he way. This being one of the drawbacks of travelling in groups: "things take time". About 45 minutes later we were ready to move on. We then had 20 minutes on a local bus taking us to the train-station and another hour after changing busses.
The site of the Teracotta Warriors consist of two big and one small excavation site. In total they have found over 6000 separate figures.
Before we could go and see the dig-sites themselves we went to see a reenactment movie showing how the army came to be. Unfortunately we got there when the showed the chinese version and all we understood was some english texting for names of people and places. The interresting part however was that it wasn't a movie in a traditional sense. There was not one canvas, but 9 spanning 360 degrees around the circular room making you see the entire panorama.
Quite a bold consept which didn't quite work since we had to keep turning around to be able to see all the action. This wouldn't nessesary be a negative thing, but without proper dramaturgy (as in this case) we didn't quite know where to look so we sometimes missed key elements. A bit confusing.
The three dig sites was interresting to see, but they were all way too crowded for my taste and we often had to shove our way to get through so we could see the different artefacts on display. Numerous guides with their groups didn't make the situations any better.
It was the same way with the last building we visited; the museum. Here they showed the construction of the facilities as well as different kunds of pottery and other art. All in a very comunist-party propaganda-way
We finished the tour about two hours before we were going to meet for the trip back and that's another drawback of what I mentioned earlier. You have to wait for the group since people o things at a different pace.
Waiting in the shadows of a tree was probably not a good idea since I got bitten by a tick. I didn't feel anything, but I saw it soon enough and got it removed before it could draw any blood. I don't know if the ticks in China carries meningities but better safe than sorry
Day 10 - June 23.: Since we were scheduled to leavee Xi'An at three a clock that day we didn't plan to doo too much. No use getting all sweaty when you can't take a shower before a long train-ride.
We went back to the fruit market around the corner from the Muslim Quarter. We took some pictures there but didn't find too much to buy.
After that we just walked around the city; checking out shopping centres and other stores. As we learned, it is very easy to get confused in the large roundabotut around the Bell Tower. The streets are so large that you have use the underground passage to get from one side to the other. We ended up using quite some time navigating our way back to the hotel, but we made it in time.
The 16 hour train-ride to Shanghai was uneventful. We spent most of the time playing cards or sleeping.