We had such a full day in the Shaanxi province! After another marvelous Chinese breakfast, we set out for the Terracotta Warrior museum. On the way, we stopped at a factory where replica statues are made so we could learn about the process. We also saw how porcelain, lacquered furniture, and silk-embroidered goods are crafted. It was amazing!
The museum is a series of three “pits,” the first of which is the most extensive. Archaeologists are still working to restore the statues. The warriors and their horses were situated in a manner to protect the first emperor’s tomb. They were destroyed at some point by someone (we got two stories about that), through smashing them and setting them afire. They laid buried for some 2000 years until farmers working on a new well site discovered them in 1974. It was an amazing experience, and Abbie loved it (she took 50 photos).
We also got a lesson in real jade versus fake jade at a shop outside the museum. Then it was time for lunch and a tea ceremony. So cool! Afterwards, we visited the Da Yan Pagoda temple, back in the heart of Xi’an. This is a very tranquil place, and we learned a lot about Buddhism and Daoism from our tour guide, Anna.
As I write this, we are sitting at a dumpling banquet, trying to make room for a few more of the 16 varieties we’ve been served (some even shaped like frogs, ducks, and porcupines!). After we finish dinner, we will watch a Tang Dynasty song and dance performance depicting the story of Empress Wu Ze-tian. It’s been a very full day indeed!