Terra-cotta Army, Xi'an
The Terra-cotta Army is one of the most amazing archeological finds of the twentieth century. I love history, but I have always been a cram and dump kind of girl when it comes to my history classes so I couldn’t have told you much about the Terracotta Army before we visited their excavation site. So for those of you who are like me, I’ll tell you a little bit about these beauties and how they came to be…BECAUSE THE STORY IS AMAZING. So, Qin Shi Huang was the first Emperor of China in 221BC. He took on projects such as building a national road system, and building the Great Wall of China, so it isn’t a surprise that his Burial Tomb would be pretty fantastic. The Terra-cotta Army was built to protect the emperor in his afterlife, stemming from the belief that what you are buried with you can take with you to heaven. (I can’t wait to see Qin and his thousands up at the pearly gates. HA! On second thought, burry me with a whole lot of chocolate please.) The massive tombs that the armies are buried in was found by a farmer in 1974! That was like 40 years ago! Since then they have begun to excavate and piece together thousands of soldiers, chariots, horses, generals, and archers. And the best part? THEY ARE STILL LITERALLY PULLING PIECES FROM THE GROUND. You can watch them piecing soldiers and digging out terra-cotta pieces from the dirt. They also haven’t opened up the emperor’s tomb yet because the technology to preserve it all doesn’t exist. So its just buried there and no one knows what is inside. They hope to be able to open it in the next fifty years! It made me want to go grab a shovel and start digging. All I know is that if you want to be an archeologist you should get yourself to China.
Overall we loved Xi’an and would put in on our top five cities to visit in China for sure!
Muslim Quarter: We only spent a day in Xi’an, but we did spend some time in the Muslim Quarter Downtown. The Silk Road ends in Xi’an, which makes it a cultural hub and pretty diverse. Garret and I grew to love Muslim noodles while we were in China which spurred our wild goose chase to find them in Xi’an. The Muslim Quarter is just a long street full of shops and street carts selling some of the most amazing Muslim food you will ever eat. We ate lamb, fruit leather, noodles, pomegranates, cake, crackers, and much more. Go with an empty stomach!
SLEEPER TRAIN: Garret and I took a sleeper train to Xi’an, the city that the Terra-cotta Army is located outside of. We then took a bus out to the site they are located on. Large hanger-like buildings have been constructed to house the pits that they are in. The trip out to see them is definitely worth it!