This weekend, we vistied Xi'an which is SW of Beijing
. We took an overnight train there on Thursday night and arrived at 7am Friday morning! The train was actually really nice! We had "soft sleepers" which meant that we had two private rooms (there were 8 of us) with four beds in each. The beds were nicer than our beds in the dorm! The morning that we arrived, we took a tour with our hostel to see pandas! We went to a rescue center so all of the pandas were either sick or hurt. They were in cages because it was raining, but they did have a nice area outside to play around in. I've never been so close to a panda before! They weren't as furry as I expected, but I think that is because it is the summer so their coats are thinner.
We also got to see them get fed-"Pandacake"! haha! The rest of the day we spent walking around the city. It is not as polluted at Beijing, but it is still pretty dirty. All of the people in China tend to pick their noses, bellybuttons, and spit in public, which is just gross, but one man SPIT ON MY HAIR when we were just walking around! It was so DISGUSTING! I don't know if he did it on purpose...but I feel like he did. I gave him a really dirty look. That night, our hostel had a "dumpling party"! It was really fun because they taught us how to make them, and then they cooked the ones we made! I alreay knew how to do it though. ;-)
On Saturday, we went to see the Terracotta Warriors! They were amazing! Over 6,000 of these life-sized warriors, all with different faces, were built to protect Emperor Qin's tomb.
They were discovered in the 1970s when a farmer was trying to dig a well. They still haven't all been dug out, but most of them were. They were probably my 2nd favorite thing that I've seen in China so far (next to the Great Wall). I really wanted to see the Emperor's tomb, but it still isn't open to the public. You could only look at the warriors from above, but I think that you got a better view of them that way anyways. The walls that sparate them were covered by a fiber roof and wood and held pots and weapons and other things the Emperor would need in the afterlife. It is incredible what these people did thousands of years ago!
Later that day, we road bikes around the city wall! Xi'an is the only city in the world that is still surrounded by a city wall and a moat. It was about 50 feet high and 9 miles long...it took us about an hour to bike all the way around it, and it was a VERY bumpy ride! It was really fun!
We only have 10 more days in CHINA and 4 more days of class! It has gone by so fast! I feel like there is alot more I want to see here, but at the same time, I am very excited to go home and see my family, eat real food, and breathe!