|After a several hour flight from Beijing on comfortable China Air (a meal was served at no cost), we had some time to see the Wild Goose Pagoda and park area. This is considered to be the start of the Silk Road.|
|We had assumed that Xi'an would be a small village where the terra cotta warriors had been discovered. After overnight in another 5 star hotel, the view from our bus the next morning convinced us otherwise - just the beginning of high rise buildings in all the "villages" along the Silk Road.|
A visit to a plant making warriors and furniture for the tourist trade gave us|
some idea of the manual labour involved in manufacturing these items.
|Lunch (Paul, Sew & Cecilia) and a gateway along the street.|
|We expected the terra cotta warriors to be in open pits as they were found in the 1970's, so it was a surprise to see the large buildings and facilities that have been built around the warriors to accommodate the thousands of tourists who come to visit each day.|
|Photos of Pit 1 give an idea of the immense structures that has been built to protect the warriors. A plaque says the warriors (each has a unique face) were in fragments when found and had to be stuck together - another surprise for me.|
|More warriors and horses in Pit 1.|
|Pit 3 is thought to have been the command centre. The horses and chariot were meticulously reconstructed.|
The hot weather was tiring so lots of folks gathered|
in the shade to await the rest of their tour groups.
The sign indicates that this is a World Heritage Sight.
Having seen the warriors, we had a chance to stroll the Muslim market.|
Many Muslims have lived in that area of China for a long time.
Some university students were doing a survey on life in China -
not much to say after only four days here.
Then we were off to a dinner theatre (our group several rows back), where we saw|
a Chinese opera, with screens telling the story in Chinese and in English.
After dinner, we headed to the train station, where we waited to embark on the "New Orient Express"|
train around 10:30 PM, for the first leg of our journey along the Silk Road.
The late embarkation was necessary because the train was parked on a siding when not travelling
and the overnight trip to Tianshui was just a few hours long. Short nights were to become all too frequent.
Xi'an, Terra Cotta Warriors
The New Orient Express
Jiayuguan & Jiuquan
Fengdu Ghost Town
Lesser Three Gorges
Three Gorges Dam, Disembark
Ode to Leo Liu