The advantage to traveling with 4 people in a soft-sleeper is that you get the entire cabin to yourself!
|Give me a break--I have a backpack on under there! And please note that Alison's shirt is originally colored light green...like her stomach...and this was UNDER her rain jacket ;)|
But never matter...because we entered pit number 3 to see the high-ranking officials and our first sight was:
(The curved part that looks like it has ruts in it is remannts of the roof). The second is the detail.
Here is a close-up of the soldiers. They all have different faces, hairstyles, clothes, and arm position. A lot of people were working full time on these puppies to get them ready for the emperor's death! By this stage, we thought we could give the terracotta warriors a run for their money:
After the trip, we did the whole walking-in-the-pouring-rain-to-the-side-of-the-highway thing back to the hotel, where we ordered in dinner. Somehow, we got 6 portions of rice, 2 portions of eggplant, and a bag of soup. But hey, we were warm ;)
The next day, we went to a less well-known tomb of terracotta archeological masterpieces: the tomb of Emperor Jingli. We highly recommend the site--it was also very interesting that a few centuries later a different Emperor from a different dynasty (the Western Han vs the Qing) constructed a similar tomb, except in miniature.
His figurings had wooden arms that moved (and long rotted away) and identifiable genitalia (that's why this post is rated pg-13). They also had enough animals and grain pots buried there to feed the people. I also got a huge kick out of the gift shop, which was selling what looked like parts of the museum. When I asked if they were antiques, the woman said yes, and when I said, are they from here? She sheepishly said, well, we're not allowed to sell those, but we can certify that these are replicas made over 200 years ago of the terracotta figures. It cracked me up that, even 200 years ago, they were selling crappy replicas to tourists.
We then wandered around Xi'an, which used to be extremely important in the Silk Road and a very powerful and wealthy city. Here's the ancient city wall:
And here is a man we saw in our wanderings who is selling goldfish off the flatbed of his bike. Oh, China.
Now we're back in Beijing, safe and sound. My last thought is simple: you might take the girls out of Carolina, but you'll never take...Carolina out of the girls!