Sunday, October 5, 2008

Xi'an Trip 2008

So as you have all been anxiously awaiting....

The bus ride to Xi'an was about 8 hours. It wasn't too bad, we had lots of entertainment. Our first stop was a Jioazi banquet (dumplings) where we had dinner and a show. They performed the Chinese version of Romeo and Juliet. It wasn't much like what we know but it was cool.

The next stop was the hotel, after the long ride and three hour show it was time for bed. The hotels were pretty nice. The showers were warm and Chinese style, no shower curtain or stall. So showering was a wet ordeal for the whole bathroom.

The next morning it was time to go see Eighth Wonder of the World, the Terracotta Warriors. We first stopped at the factory where the replicas are made. Basic clay and molds but pretty cool in the least. We went on to see the real artifacts in the museum. For me the most fascinating part of the warriors is that they are continually working on digging them up out of the ground. There were several areas where their were covered tombs that the scientists had not yet uncovered. I guess they are working on a new form of preservation where they actually coat them with wax as they are being taken from the ground to prevent the paint shattering. They were so beautifully painted but once they hit the air it shatters and the original clay is left behind. We moved on to see the bronze chariots, they were pretty cool, I hadn't really studied up on the history that much. I had a friend of mine that is gung-ho about history and was my personal tour guide the whole way through!

(me and my history buff friend, Becca) (the actual Terra Cotta Warriors)

We ate lunch at a place by the museum and had the best noodles ever. They were really thick and very chewy. We also got to see a man making noodles, i had seen this on the travel channel before but this was too cool to see in person.

Later on that afternoon we went to a silk factory where cocoons are spun into thread. They start as a cocoon and are soaked in water and then put into a spinning machine which makes about 20 spools of thread. Then they stretch the silk and put it together to make quilt stuffing and or the inside of a duvet cover. They were around 900 kuai for a queen size, I decided to save my money!

On our way to the hotel the tour guide decided she would take us to the Muslim market where they sell goods and food. This is the place to barter and get really good deals. I bartered for the first time and it was a rush! Some of you know how excited I get when I find clearance in stores, well you can imagine my reaction when I was able to get the price down right then and there. I didn't get everything for very good prices, some things that I bought first were a little on the steep side, but altogether i got some good deals. I found a Terracotta warrior chess set, which is sitting next to my Chinese chess set on my table. That will be a good conversation piece for students! I found a wall hanging scroll of the Great Wall in black and white and another one with purple grapes. They make the place look a little more homey. Oh yeah, they had a bunch of dried fruit carts, they had dates, pineapple, papaya, guava (which was like biting into honey!) and kiwi. The kiwi was the best so I got one bag of them and one bag of mixed fruits. They are a nice snack!

Saturday, we visited the Gray Goose Pagoda and the Buddhist Temple. They were both very cool. My camera had died by that time and I was a bit bummed. But I will steal some pictures from peoples facebook! We all like the share. I was able to get it working for a short time when we visited the city wall. I thought the wall was so cool because it's actually where the warriors fought. I don't know the exact measurements (plus it's all in Meters) but it was huge. People could rent bikes and ride around it in an hour and a half. We walked and enjoyed some sunshine.
We started back for home at about 3pm which got us back on campus at midnight. So it was a packed weekend but it was really neat to see the city.

(not the pagoda, but a cool shot of the Ancient City Wall)

Thanks for reading, again if you want to see pictures go to my snapfish account.


Blessed By Four said...

amy it sounds like you are having a great time!

Anonymous said...

Hi Amy - You are having far to much fun and getting totally over educated. What a deal. This entry in your blog was absolutely great. Makes me wish we would have gone to China instead of Africa. Oh well, Africa was awesome also. Grandpa and I had a great time "teaching" there. One thing I do not like about answering blogs is that I do not have a spell check. Luv ya much and more. Grandma K.