Today we got to visit what is being called the 8th Wonder of the World…The Terra Cotta Warriors. This was another stop I had very high expectations of…my mom’s friend who had visited China before said it was the highlight of her trip…unfortunately I have to disagree. While it was pretty amazing to see the Terra Cotta Warriors standing, and see and learn about the recovery process it was just TOO crowded to truly enjoy it. This was our first glimpse of the Terra Cotta Warriors
So what exactly are the Terra Cotta Warriors? Well, let me tell you I learned ALL about them this day (unfortunately a majority of the information went in one ear and out the other, luckily there is wikipedia to help refresh my memory). The Emperor of China had the warriors built in order to protect the emperor in his afterlife. There were more than 8,000 soldiers built. Each one with distinct features all the way down to their shoes! They were discovered in 1974 by a farmer digging the well (We saw the farmer, poor old guy just sits in the museum all day signing books). The part I found most fascinating was they were found AFTER the cultural revolution (I think this is the right one, again I heard lots of facts), had they been found BEFORE the cultural revolution they would have most likely been destroyed forever. The fact that they were found so late saved them.
the first pit
The museum itself is absolutely beautiful. There are four different pits you can visit and a few museums and coffee shops. The view is spectacular. You can see the mountains in the distance.
After visiting the Warriors we were able to make a cultural stop at a local cave dwelling home. It was very fascinating to see where people lived. The cave itself is no longer lived in, but rather used for storage.
The night ended with a dumpling dinner…and if I never see a dumpling again it will be too soon. This dinner consisted of FIFTEEN DIFFERENT DUMPLINGS. I tried to taste them all, but I think it was physically impossible to eat them all. The dinner also had a show with it…music and dance of the Tang Dynasty. It was very interesting, and the musicians and dancers were very talented. Our group was seated SMACK in the front, and of course after a long day, a big dinner, and several drinks the majority of our group fell asleep!