The night train ride was an interesting experience. The shopping pushed our arrival to the Beijing train station a tad bit late...surprise! The porters were amazing as they ran through the station to platform 6 with all of our luggage. It include negotiating a series stairs and escalators. Our sleeper car was crowded with French and German Students on a school trip. It was cozy with the six of us in a 4 bed berth.
Xian was a former capital city of China for 4000 years and its City walls and gates remained intact. Bell and Drum Towers were used to let the people know the time of day. Xian's bell tower, outside our hotel, is enormous. It is in a traffic circle where the main streets of the city meet. Xian's historical buildings are well preserved. It did suffer any destruction from the Second World War or the Cultural Revolution. The city sets standards and maintains traditional tiled roofs with its dragon tails at each corner. The city fortress walls remain intact.
Wow is how we would describe the Terra Cotta soldiers. There are 3 pits containing an estimated 8000 soldiers. Pit No. 1 covers several acres and houses 6000 soldiers. The site was discovered int he the 1970's by farmers digging a well. It was probably the second time it was discovered. They say that Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi(200 BC) while unifying China and started building the Great Wall was a harsh Emperor as well. The farmers rebeled against his regime after his death and while looking for his treaured filled tomb, they discovered the Terra Cotta Army. There was little treasure to be found and the people destroyed the figures of the soldiers. The 1974 discovery was actually made of hundreds of thousands of broken pieces of pottery. The archeologists painstakenly put each and every solder and horse you see back together and positioned them back in the pits.