To the terracotta warriors in Xi'an.
Friday 3 November 2006 - Saturday 4 November 2006
Friday 3 November - Arrived Xi'an 6.00 am off the overnight train from Beijing. We had hard sleeper, which is three bunks high (six to a compartment). The had trolleys coming around regularly with food and drinks that could be bought. The ride was comfortable but did not I sleep very well.
The seven new people on the trip went out to Terracotta Warriors, the others having been there earlier before they went up to Beijing. The museum is huge and consists of many buildings, including two large aircraft hanger sized shed with the terracotta warriors all lined up and a superb museum. The guide was very good although her English was a bit hard to understand. There was also a movie of the history of the warriors and it would have been better to watch that first so that we had an understanding of everything.
The Terracotta Warrior museum near Xi'an.
Another part of the museum.
Restored warriors on display.
Meeting Terry Cotta and his mates.
Another of Terry's mates.
Notice how all the faces are different.
There are hundreds of them...
...all neatly lined up in rows.
The cavalry have arrived.
This is how they look before they are reassembled.
A particularly fine example in the museum.
After an afternoon nap, I wandered around the centre of Xi'an.
The Bell Tower in the centre of Xi'an.
The Drum Tower in Xi'an.
The Bell Tower all lit up.
Saturday 4 November - Overnight there was an incident with a Pepsi umbrella. Three guys and two girls were coming back from a bar / nightclub close to the hotel and in a prank, decided to move a Pepsi umbrella from one side of the square to the other side. Some locals seemed to take exception to that and started getting pushy. The locals then saw that one of the girls was Chinese (born in Taiwan, raised in the UK and spoke no Mandarin at all) and started getting very aggressive towards her. Her British boyfriend, Terry (very solidly built) got very upset at that and decided to do something about it and he decked one of the locals. Blood everywhere. The police were called, the manager of the hotel was called (he was not happy), Andy was dragged out of bed (not happy at, it being 4:00am), Ting Ting was dragged from bed to assist with the translations and it all got a bit tense. Eventually everything cooled down and money was exchanged to avoid the police having to take the matter any further.
After a late start, a good breakfast and a stop at a pharmacy, I spent the rest of the day wandering around the Muslim Quarter and Great Mosque. The Great Mosque is nothing like a Middle Eastern mosque, but is very Chinese in style. Xi'an still has most of its old city walls and I walked around a fair bit of it.
A gate to somewhere or something.
Part of the Great Mosque.
More of the Great Mosque.
More of the Great Mosque.
Another view of the Drum Tower.
One of the gates in Xi'an's walls.
More of the walls.
More of the walls around Xi'an.
Decoration on the walls.
The hotel in the centre of Xi'an was very nice and was right opposite the Bell Tower. The truck had been parked up here as the group had caught the train into Beijing rather than driving for two days each way through not very interesting countryside.