Thursday, September 17, 2009

China - Day 2 and Day 3

I forgot to share what we did the morning of Day 2. T and B and I went for a bike ride through some villages. It was really interesting and eye opening to see how these villagers live. You start to appreciate what you have and the conveniences we all have in the States. We stumbled upon a Wet Market on our ride. This is basically an open-air market that sells everything from produce to meat. I think one of the best things to do when you travel anywhere is to visit a local market. You truly get a sense of where you are, how people live, and you feel like a local!

After the ride we stopped by some food street vendors. T took us to a vendor he always goes to, to get these crepe-like omelet. All I can say is that it was pure heaven. This gentleman makes a crepe and then he breaks an egg and spreads it all over the crepe, adds some scallions, and spreads a spicy plum sauce on top. It's all wrapped up and is the most amazing thing I've ever had (ok, you'll hear me say that a lot in future posts on China). It was so simple but so delicious. Oh, and did I tell you how much it was? It was $0.35!!! Yes, $0.35!!!

So at the end of Day 2 (after the Fabric Market) we flew to Xi'an (pronounced "She-On"). Xian is a city 2 1/2 hours away from Shanghai with a population of about 8 million. Xi'an is best know for the Terracotta Soldiers that were discovered about 30 years ago. They were discovered by a pair of brothers digging for a well. The rest is history. I was very excited to see them in person because with any work of art you really can't appreciate it fully until you see it in person. When we went to the first building it was AMAZING. It was bigger than a football field with these soldiers all standing in formation.

They estimate that there are about 6,000 but have only unearthed 1,500. They stopped unearthing them because they found some with paint and once exposed to air, the paint fell off. Until they figure out how to keep the paint on after unearthing them, they are not excavating any more. The other amazing thing we found out is that these were originally covered with a timber roof but over time the timbers rotted and fell on top of these soldiers. So the soldiers have had to be reconstructed piece by piece. Simply amazing!

The other pieces they have excavated are two teams of horses and two carriages. The craftsmanship of these bronzes are unreal. And once you realize when these were created you start to understand how truly amazing these craftsmen were. They were created around 210 BC!!! It was so crazy that we got to see these soldiers. It had always been on my list of "to see" and I can't believe I actually saw them!

No comments: