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China 2007 – Part 5

Terra Cotta WarriorsThe next flight in China took us to Xian, at the very center of the country and the oldest city in China — and with 3,100 years of history. A small city — 8 million people — with the most amazing statistic that the city is adding 9,000 new automobiles per month. The traffic is already bad and it is hard to imagine what it will be like a few years from now.
The Tang Dynasty Theatre Restaurant was home for an evening of great Chinese food and entertainment. They claim to be China’s premier cultural entertainment theater restaurant. The food was excellent (the wine not great, as in all of China) and the performance resembled an opera and included beautiful costumes and authentic Chinese instruments. The musicians, sngers and performers were superb.
Day two in Xian started with a bus ride to see the Terracotta Warriors. This is one of many things in China in the category of "you have to see it to believe it". It is often said that ‘you can’ take it with you’ but when a Chinese emperor died they took a lot of things to the grave with them to be part of their after life. The first emperor of the Qin Dynasty 2,000 years ago went out big time. He had 8,000 soldiers and horses constructed from terra cotta. The life-sized figures were cured in a kiln and each one weighs 600 pounds and was complete with razor-sharp bronze weapons. The weapons were coated with chrome — thought to be invented a couple of thoursand years later — and showedg no sign of rust. The army consisted of archers, war chariots, cavalrymen, and infantrymen. The chariots were made from 4,000 separately casted parts. The pits where these amazing warriors were found were underground and discovered by a farmer looking for water iin 1974. You have to see it to believe it!

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