Terracotta Warriors, Lanterns, and walking…

This morning we went to the Terracotta Warriors, which with the exception of the Great Wall of China is the most incredible sight I have ever seen! 

Dad you would have loved it! We walked into this area called the ‘pit’ from there you look down over hundreds of warriors and their horses. As they are excavating, they find the warriors in bits. They are all broken, some in less places then others. Archeologists then spend months putting them all back together, trying to match the fragments to the correct warrior. 

Ellen talked us through the different warriors, and how to tell them apart. We definitely have a general at home. He is the only one with his arms crossed with a finger pointing up. We had never even noticed! I wanted to bring him home a friend, but mum said no. Apparently one warrior in the house is enough. That and they cost a bomb! I did treat myself to a tiny one though.

From there we went to the city wall in Xi-an. The wall is a big rectangle about 13.5km in total, and there was an option to ride a bike around it. Only there was an issue…. We didn’t have enough cash to cover the deposits on two bikes, but we did have enough for a tandem bike. Yep, a tandem! 

Honestly dad it was hilarious. This bike was way too small for us, and as you probably know, mum does not have the best balance in the world. We already agreed I should be at the front and steer. We would have been fine if there were not other people on the wall – particularly small children who do not get out the way. We must have missed this kid by inches. Mum was screaming behind me to turn and every time I went to turn the kid stepped the same way. Turns out you can not make a sudden move on a tandem, it just doesn’t work! Surrounding people were shouting and we had nowhere to go. How we missed this kid, who couldn’t have been more than three I will never know. I do wish we had it on camera though! 

After the excitement (and pain) of riding around an uneven ancient stone the wall, we were back just in time for the lantern festival. It is the last day of Chinese new year today, and the wall was covered in these huge lanterns, some the size of carnival floats. They were pretty impressive. Again, we seemed to be the main attraction. I gave up counting how many photos we had taken of us.

We then had to make our way back to the hotel, and we decided to walk. Probably not the brightest idea, it didn’t seem too far away when we passed it on the bike, walking was a lot further – and we weren’t on a straight wall. On the plus side we got to see some ‘real’ bits of China. You know, people selling street food and others eating it on make shift tables on the pavement, people sweeping rubbish from the gutters, goats tied to trees, cauldrons heated by open flames, and fireworks going off in the middle of the street. Things like that. 

We in all have walked (and cycled) for miles today. Tracker says 30,000 steps, which is way over 20km walking plus 13.5km cycling. I am impressed we both made it! We are both exhausted! Mum’s training is really paying off! 

Time for bed, onto the next China location tomorrow – the Yangtze River! Not sure yet if we will have WiFi on the Yangtze, so apologies now if I vanish for a few days, I will fill you in as soon as I can.

Night Dad x

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