Monday, November 30, 2009

Xian (She-an) Spectacle

We didn't spend this day after Thanksgiving fighting the crowds at the mall or eating turkey leftovers.  We decided to take advantage of a day off work to head to Midwest China (I guess it's their version of Indiana, as wheat and corn are two of the most important crops for the area). 

We flew to Xian early Friday morning.  Xian is most famous as an ancient capital of seven Chinese dynasties, most of which were between 1800-2100 years ago.  Outside of Xian is what many are calling the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Terracotta Warriors.  About 35 years ago, a farmer was digging a well on his land in the Shaanxi province and found some terracotta pottery pieces, or so he thought.  He contacted the government and they unearthed nearly 2,000 lifesized Terracotta Warriors, though there are thought to be more than 7,000 total, each with a unique likeness and dress. 

The warriors were built for Emperor QinShihuang, the first emperor of China, to be his army in his afterlife. 

It was stunning.  One of those things that you almost can't fathom, even after spending nearly four hours at the site and museum.  We even met the famous farmer!

It was pretty cold in Xian and there was snow on the ground, but at least there weren't any crowds.

The city Xian itself left much to be desired.  We saw several other interesting sites, mostly Buddhist temples, and some other burial tombs. 

We tried Hairy Crab, which is in season right now.  They are freshwater crabs and look pretty scary, but we thought "when in China".  They also don't taste very good, but at least we tried it. 

This archer is the only one that they've found completely intact thus far.  The rest are broken, but they take painstaking measures to properly put them back together, and align them in attack formation.

Emperor and Empress LeRoy

Rubbing the lioness's cub (that's what her paw is on) is supposed to bring women children.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda, built 700 years ago

The jump for joy, Mary Tyler Moore-style.  Our tour guide insisted - crazy Americans!  Then two Chinese girls asked us to be in a similar photo with them.  This is in front to the Shaanxi Museum - lots of historical artifacts.

At first we thought this was a chart of different mustaches, but found out that it was actually different types of eyebrows.

 We got to ring the bell that wakes the Buddhist monks.


  1. Wow - what an amazing way to spend the holiday. Thanks for sharing the pictures and stories...

  2. What is the eyebrow chart actually used for?