Lots of excitement at breakfast this morning as we were all looking forward to our visit to the Terracotta Warriors. When we met outside to board the bus the first thing we noticed was the change in weather. Yesterday was a nice 22 degrees and today it has dropped to about 12. The sun was still out but the wind was icy!
After about an hour on the bus we stopped at a place that makes copies of the warriors and horses for people to buy. They have warriors from 6 foot tall down to 15 centimetres. A few purchases were made and then it was back on the bus for the 15 minute ride to the Terracotta Warriors.
This is the largest on-site museum in China and has grown considerably since the first discovery of some pottery and bronze weapons in 1974 by some farmers digging a well. It is now a 20 hectare site with beautiful gardens, trees and areas of lawn. The Terracotta Warriors museum is located on the east side of the Masoleum of Emperor QinShihuang who was the first Emperor in Chinese history. Emperor Qin was the founder of the Qin Dynasty and his Masoleum took 40 years to complete.
It was amazing to stand in the buildings and look down into the pits where many warriors could be seen, both complete and in pieces. Many horses and the remains of chariots could also be seen in the pits. It was very exciting to be so close to these amazing relics from Ancient China. Many photos and video clips were taken before we went to watch a 3D clip about the history and discovery of the Terracotta Warriors. Some of us took the opportunity to buy a book about the Terracotta Warriors and have it signed by the man who first discovered the relics while digging the well in 1974.
After lunch in the village surrounding the museum we boarded the bus and drove back into the city. Our first stop was the Drum Tower which is over 600 years old and is situated near the Muslim Market. We then all enjoyed some free time to snap up a few more bargains before going to a restaurant for a Hot-Pot Dinner.
The dinner was delicious. First we all made our own dipping sauce by choosing from a range of ingredients such as chilli, herbs, vinegar and soy sauce. We then were given a pot of chicken broth each which was placed on a small cooktop that was built into the table in front of every seat. Next a tray of ingredients such as lamb, tofu, noodles and vegetables was delivered to each person. We then added what we wanted into our broth and cooked it before eating our creation with the dipping sauce.
It was then back to the hotel to pack for our flight to Beijing in the morning. Warm clothes will be the order of the day as they are predicting snow in Beijing tomorrow!