It’s Day 4 in China and our first full day in Xian. We have a jam packed agenda as we leave tomorrow for Shanghai. We started our day at the Terra Cotta Workshop where they actually create the warriors. They use clay and mould the statues, they then put them in a kiln and bake them, then let them bake for up to a few days depending on the size of the statue. Next they let them cool and hand paint them. We also got saw the statues in the different steps of creation. After the workshop we were able to purchase our own warrior statues.
Once we had finished at the workshops, we ventured to the Terra Cotta Warriors Museum which is actually known as an 8th world wonder. Founded in 1974 when villagers chanced upon what is known as one of the world’s most astonishing archaeological findings- an 8,000 man army in battle ready formation, each warrior a life size figure made over 2,200 years ago. When the warriors were found the people actually thought it was a bad omen from the earth god and that a curse was coming.
We explored three different pits each showcasing a different size, style and form of statues and grabbed lunch at a local restaurant nearby.
After lunch we arrived at The Big Wild Goose Pagoda which was built in 652 AD and is filled with many buddha shrines, gardens, and courtyards and is known as a place of prayer. In the middle of the entrance there is a huge incense pot which filled the whole courtyard with an incense type smokey smell.
We quickly went to explore the Xian City wall as we had about a half hour to kill before our show & dinner. The Xian wall runs 12 kms in length and features imposing guard towers, it also features a lamp post with red drapery and a small dragon that outlines the city wall. You will find a mixture of old and new china architecture along the view point of the wall.
After the show we were treated to a Dumpling Ceremony right in the theatre. Chinese Dumplings are among one of the most famous dishes in Xian Each dumpling is hand wrapped and stuffed with freshly prepared stuffing. Sweet, savoury, vegetarian, meat filled, fruit filled and many other flavours are available, each with it’s own design.
At The Pagoda there was also many shops that were filled with things like buddha statues, books, jewellery, incense and much more. The whole courtyard smelled of incense with a huge pot containing all the incense sticks in the middle.
We arrived at our nightly show which was tonight was The The Tang Dynasty show. The Tang Dynasty is distinguished as the most progressive and prosperous era in the history of China. The dances were traditional Chinese dances which gave thanks to prosperous seasons and weather. The Costumes are the performances were stunning.
Tomorrow we fly to Shanghai and I am so excited to see what is in store once we arrive.
-xxx an apple a day