My trip to Xi'an started with a bang (literally). The day we arrived, majority ruled and we went to go ride bicycles around the wall that surrounds the original city (approx a 14km ride). I didn't really want to (too expensive) but agreed anyways.
Worst decision ever.
It was going fine until my first bicycle got a flat tire. I walked 20 minutes until we found a bike rental stop to swap it out. Pushing a bicycle with a flat tire, on a seemingly never-ending wall in the middle of winter is not fun. When I finally got the swap-out bike, I just wanted to be done with the trip. We weren't even close, so I kept going and going. We were almost at the end when it happened. There was a rather large bump to go over, which I was navigating fine until two other bikers cut me off and sent me flying. It was all very painful, the worst part being how it actually seemed to provide amusement to the Chinese tourists around me. I am now a human bruise
(fortunately no broken bones or cuts somehow, and my chopstick hand is OK),
and continue to discover new ways my body hurts. I now officially hate bikes and large historic walls (excluding the Great Wall). I will also never be convinced to do something I don't want to do.
Today we headed out of the city to see the only reason we came to Xi'an: the Terracotta Warriors
. Absolutely worth the trip (and possibly even the bruises). It's amazing to think that they were only discovered in 1974 - centuries upon centuries of just sitting there, guarding a long forgotten tomb. I wonder what it was like for the archaeologists that were called in when the farmers made the discovery. How long did it take to realize they were looking at something BIG. It must have been the most amazing feeling in the world.
I think I could have spent all day staring at the warriors, investigating how each face differed from the ones around it. The time and effort spent on each one is amazing. To then burry them underground so that no one could see them is sad (good for us though, as they probably would have been destroyed long ago otherwise). We had to
move on though, and after a lunch at a local farmer's home (very yummy), we headed back to the city.
It's bad, but I have no desire to go out and explore Xi'an anymore. I think it may be the bruises talking (including a spectacular one that I am reminded of whenever I sit down), but my interest in the city has waned completely. I'll probably go to the Muslim Quarter again and out for a drink, but I have no motivation to explore the city any more than I already have. If only the visit hadn't started with the bike ride…
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