Published: November 6th 2007October 11th 2007
Onward to Xian
We caught a late afternoon flight to Xian, on China Eastern airlines. The flight was roughly an hour and a half or so, and it was dark by the time we landed. A lot of the trip was spent in transit. Drive to an airport or whatever, wait around, fly, get your bag, travel to the hotel, etc. It takes a lot of time to do all that. We had a long drive from the airport to the hotel, the Sofitel on Renmin Square.
We were standing around the lobby waiting for Kevin to dole out the room keys. Near the front desk was the entrance to a Japanese-themed restaurant named "Koi". Outside of Koi, was a cute young girl wearing a kimono who would seat the guests. I got to talking with her. Her English name was Candy. Candy said she would be working the next morning.
The room was incredible. It was large, like a suite.
The next morning, I went down to Koi and had breakfast. I said hi to Candy, and got to talking with her after I finished breakfast. She said she wasn't working that night or the next
day. I wanted to see her later if possible. I asked Kevin when we would be getting back to the hotel tonight, and he said around 8:30pm. We had kind of a long day scheduled: a trek out to see the Terracota Warriors, and a Tang Dynasty Dinner show in the evening. Candy said if she could get together, she would call my room around 9pm.
It was cool and rainy. I didn't check the weather before we headed out. Unfortunately, I didn't take my umbrella with me today, an incredibly stupid move as it turned out.
After a long drive, we pulled over and walked along a muddy road in the rain through a persimmon grove, and into a building. Inside was a couple of empty pits, where an archaeological dig was apparently taking place. There wasn't really anything in the pit nor anything to really see here. Not sure what this was all about.
Then, we headed over to the main exhibit area where the Terracotta Warriors are.
Here's the brief story: sometime around 200 BC, an emperor decided he wanted his underground burial tomb to be surrounded by thousands of life
size terracotta (pottery) soldiers and horses. He died and was buried with the terracotta figures around him "guarding his tomb" placed under wooden planks. At some point after he died, some people, like a rival army or something, found this and burned much of wooden planks and destroyed some of the figures. Over time, the remaining wooden planks collapsed and the figures were broken and buried, and apparently nobody knew they were there. In 1974, a local farmer was digging a well and unearthed one of these figures. Over time, archaeological digs were undertaken, and broken fragments of the figures were unearthed and put back together for display. We spent a lot of time walking around looking at the pits, and we had lunch there. Tang Dynasty Dinner Show
That evening, we went to the Tang Dynasty Dinner show in Xian. This was nice and quite a production, with a large cast. Lots of people, costumes, music, singing, and dance. Very nice. Food was served as well.
When we were driving back to the hotel, the city wall of Xian was lit up. It looked really cool. I wish we could have stopped and walked around. The
wall was lit, and there were red lanterns all along the wall, gates, and towers.
Xian had a charm about it that I really liked. It wasn't nearly as big as Beijing, but was still a fairly large city. The people here seemed nice, and the city wall was really cool. Interestingly, it also had a small Muslim population. I saw a few of those green star-and-crescent symbols, and some men wearing those Muslim caps.
I got back to my room around 8:30pm, and I waited to see if Candy would call. About 9:20pm, I hadn't heard from her, and I assumed that I would not. So, I headed down to the hotel club and had a couple of drinks. I got back to the room around 11pm. Right when I got into the room, the phone rang. It was Candy. She had been trying to call me since around 9:30pm. I asked where she was. She was downstairs with one of her friends that works at Koi. I asked if she wanted to meet for a drink downstairs. She didn't want to be seen by the hotel staff, whom she knew. I asked if she wanted to
go somewhere else. To make a long story short, she decided to come up to my room. We talked for a while, then her friend Cindy came up, too. The three of us hung out in the room and talked. Her friend had to get up early and work at Koi the next morning, but Candy was off the next day. (I had to leave Xian the next day and fly to Shanghai). After talking for a while, the three of us went to bed. There was a large bed in the room, I think king size. The three of us slept.
There are more photos below