Friday, 15 August 2014

Terracotta Warrior Wonders

A Warrior Horse
We were up early to get out to the site where the Terracotta Warriors are housed, but the ‘getting there’ took significantly longer than we thought. It was a 20 minute walk to the metro, 15 minute metro ride, 30 minute walk to the train station where Bus 306 departed from. Once we arrived we joined the end of a long queue and waited 40 minutes to finally board the bus which then took over an hour to reach the site. The ticket booth is at the far end of the site which meant that despite our early start it was 1pm by the time we actually entered!

We started our tour at the Info Centre which gave a good overview of the history of the site and displayed two chariots that had been excavated from a nearby tomb. We continued to site 2 which had up close warriors that we could examine once we’d made our way through the thick crowds, and the detail on each one was impressive.

An up-close shot of some of the Warriors
Site 1 was smaller but had a lot more warriors fully excavated and in formation. We saved Site 3 for last as it is the main site, but to be honest we were a little underwhelmed by it. We were expecting to enter a huge place with lines and lines of warriors, and even though the place was indeed massive - only a third of it had warriors lined up and the rest was empty space or had a few warriors being assembled. The remaining space was filled with 100’s and 100’s of tourists all pushing and shoving to get the best view over the top of the warriors. Nevertheless, what was very cool and quite amazing was that every warrior is individualistic, down to the length of their jackets, hairstyles and even their shoe size. We took our time examining the warriors and horses and fighting the crowds so that Dave could take a few decent photos – turns out Sarah’s quite a skilled place holder... 

Drum Tower at Night
By 4pm-ish we’d had enough of being jostled by the crowds and Dave had enough photos to keep him editing for many nights to come so we took a minibus back to town instead of the bus as we didn’t want to wait around for the next scheduled bus to turn up, and there was already a crowd of people waiting for it. We strolled town until dusk so we could see the Bell and Drum Towers lit up at night and enjoyed dinner in the hectic Muslim quarter before heading back to our apartment to organise accommodation in Chongqing.

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