It snowed ALL day!
The hostels in Xi’an all organise tours to the terracotta warriors but there’s public transport that runs there and I prefer not to have my time dictated to by a tour schedule so I got the bus. It was supposed to go all the way to the site but, as with London buses when the weather and traffic are bad and the buses are running late, it was taken out of service halfway there. So I was chucked off the bus into the snow with no idea of where to find another bus. There is one advantage of tours! Several other terracotta warriors buses came by and also disgorged their passengers. Just when I was starting to look like the abominable snowman one came along and picked people up. It took 2 hours to get there instead of 1 but at least I got there and it was definitely worth it!
China doesn’t do anything on a small scale. The Forbidden City is enormous, the Great Wall is great, the modern cities are huge. The scale of the Terracotta Warriors is immense – and they haven’t finished excavating them all. Equally impressive is the detailed work involved in each of them; the facial expressions, the armour and uniforms, the horses. They were all painted too but what paint was left after all these years faded as soon as they were excavated. Originally many were carrying weapons; parts of bronze swords and daggers were found. I wonder if archaeologists will ever uncover all the secrets of the terracotta army and their Emperor.
I also really liked the bronze horses and chariots in the exhibition centre. They were found in pieces and restored over 5 years. The horses’ bridles and the fixings for the chariot are miniature replicas of what was used at the time. So much detail. The lighting was terrible for photos though.
(Bad internet connection in Xi'an so this is uploaded on Friday.)