On August 16, we arrived in Xi'an - the end of the Silk Road. The main attraction in Xi'an is the Terra Cotta Soldiers which I have been looking forward to seeing. We had 3 nights here to catch up on some sleep and have one day of sight seeing.
|Starting our short walk
|Looking outside the wall - torn down houses with satellites still up!
|I think people are still living in these houses
|Paul's checking out what's down below...no, not a fire or Steven Segal
|Looking back towards where we walked from
|Door obsession continues
|We didn't walk all the way around - it would have taken too long
|But we walked enough to get some good shots
|Check out the wall
|Here's another viewpoint
|I'm surprised this isn't the China flag
Our next stop was to visit the Terra Cotta soldiers (and horses) about 35 km away east of Xi'an. In March 1974, about 1.5 km from the Qin Mausoleum, four farmers stumbled across a vault of the Terra-cotta Army. This army was created by Emperor Qin Shi Huang (the first emperor of China) and buried with him to protect him in the after life. Eventually this museum was built around the entire site. We were only allowed to visit two of the unearthed pits. There are many more that are still underground but in order to preserve the soldiers and horses from deteriorating, they leave them underground. The ones that have been unearthed are restored by a team of archaeologists. Each soldier is unique - there aren't any two that are the same.
|Pit #1 at 230m long and 62m wide contains more than 6000 figures
|The details of each soldier is really amazing
|And even closer - can you see each face is different?
|Here are soldiers with their horses
|To the right is the location of where the farmers discovered the terra cotta soldiers
|Just rows and rows of them
|Despite the pit being this large, it was super crowded and hard to walk around!
|This guy's got long arms
|A shot from behind
|You can see that some of them are missing heads
|This area is where the archaeologists restore the figures
|Up close and personal
|The location of the mausoleum and site is very feng shui because of
the surrounding mountains and such
|This is the last of the four farmers who discovered the army...
he wrote a book and signs them here in the gift shop
|The kneeling archer
|This is a chrome plated sword created in 200 BC - the Germans invented this technology in 1937 and the Americans in 1950 - pretty amazing
|All the soldiers and horses were painted too - but the color disappears from oxidation
|This is the bronze chariot for the Emperor (Number 2 Chariot)
|Hey, look at us - we're one of the soldiers!