|From Eric's Pics|
|From Jamie's Pics|
Friday – July 31
Today was our first full day in Xi’an. We decided to take a tour to the excavation site of the Terracotta Warriors. For those that do not know, and I know many in America do not, the Terracotta Warriors are literally terracotta (clay) soldiers built by the “first” Chinese emperor to protect his final resting place. So far, 4 pits have been found and over 8000 terracotta warriors, chariots, and horses have been discovered. The emperor died in 310 b.c., but the terracotta warriors were not found until 1974 by a Chinese farmer digging a well. The Chinese government paid the man 10 yuan (about $1.50 US) for his discovery. Don’t worry though, the guy is doing quite well as we saw him signing books written about him and charging people to take his picture – TIC.
Our guided tour took the entire day but the excavation site was stunning. They still have pit #4 that they have not opened to the public they have just started digging. Pit #1 alone hasn’t even been completed. Take a look at our pictures as they are pretty amazing and Google “Terracotta Warriors” for more information.
We rested that afternoon and ate at the hostel which had yummy food for all meals.
Saturday – August 1
We didn’t fly to Guilin until later that afternoon, so we wanted to see some more sites in Xi’an before leaving. We decided early on to bike on top of the city walls of Xi’an. The city still has its original city walls which are wide enough for 2 cars to drive side by side and over XXX feet high. There are plenty of biking options, so Mom and Dad rode a tandem bike and me, Jamie, and Samantha each had a bike of our own. The city walls are about 5.2 miles around and we had 100 minutes to complete it. Mom and Dad’s tandem bike broke down 2 times and they had to exchange it once, Jamie’s bike broke once and we had to exchange it, and finally it poured down rain on us pretty much the entire time. Mom and Dad have said it was the best time they have had! Great experience and one for the books. We strolled into the bike return taking a little over 2 hours to complete because of the break downs.
We showered and freshened up, but decided not to go back out in the rain to see more city sites. I had really wanted to go to the beginning point of the Silk Road, but Xi’an is a city that Jamie and I think we will return to, so I wasn’t too bummed about it.
Our flight to Guilin was pretty fast and we arrived at the Guilin Riverside Hostel early in the evening. They had fed us on the plane, so we spent the time resting and figuring out what to do in Guilin.
I’m going to post Guilin and Yangshuo on another post, but be sure to check out our albums for pictures of Xi’an!