China Day Four – Xi’an
The day began with a friendly, yet drained, face at the door of our cabin (as we were on the overnight train). We then proceeded to get prepare ourselves for the full day ahead, which included visiting and observing the Hangyang Tombs. But first we had a confused departure off the tightly packed overnight train; as all teachers disagreed on which stop was correct. Eventually we were off and met our new tour guide, Jessica, who had our fresh subway breakfasts. Yum.
The tombs were full of ancient clay that had been molded into a variety of things including animals, people, vases and much more these were buried in 6.4 meter pits near the emperor. Each pit was categorised. For all of the inanimate clay objects the role to the emperor was to come alive in the afterlife to support the emperor as they would do on Earth. Our new tour guide Jessica has been fantastic. She taught us the meaning of these nowadays strange actions, in advance of the Terracotta Army trip tomorrow.
After that we made our way onto ‘The City Wall of Xian’ where we hired bikes. Ed Note; This is the most complete city wall in the whole of China. Xi’an is the old capital of China before Beijing. As we set off a small minority became competitive to be the first one to the end, including Mr. Price, storming full speed ahead, until Khloe went flying over the handle bars leaving Pricey to pick up the pieces. Ed Note; in reality she just fell off and is absolutely fine, don’t panic. This is when Mr. Turner took charge giving us young’uns a run for our Yuan. In the end, one way or another we all made it back dragging our jelly legs behind us. Ed Note, Big shout out to Mrs. Cheesman who was far more caring than the male testosterone fueled competitive members of staff who were far too busy!
Together we enjoyed our buffet styled lunch, along with Ella’s mare of misplacing her bag (don’t worry Jessica saved the day by getting the bag back to us later that day, all intact). With full bellies we continued our tour around Xi’an heading off to the Artifact museum. This is where many students just bailed to the gift shop or stopped for a photo shoot with non-corresponding Chinese couple. Ed Note; Miss Darby also bailed to the bus for 40 winks.
The last site we explored was the peaceful ‘Big Goose Pagoda’ where we got to view Buddhist hand painted designs and where we learned about the exquisite talent of Chinese calligraphy. Later we got free time where we could buy the designs or have a specific name drawn by the professor of calligraphy. During our free time to wander the surrounding gardens we smelt the burning incense and had a multi-sensory experience with classical music, birdsong and a glorious sunset.
These were the adventures from our first day in Xi’an and we have all settled into our luxurious hotel rooms for the night looking forward to a decent night’s sleep ready to check out early morning for another memorable day, this time visiting the renowned Terracotta Army.
Night from all.
Written by Paige Shilcock, Lois Pickering and Daisie Butlin
Ed Note; the train journey was a huge success. Xi’an is a beautiful city and it really gave us an insight into Chinese life away from the spotlight. The ‘Celebrity Feel’ continues, and if anything, we are more of a novelty here than we are in Beijing.