With Xi’an we have reached the final destination of the Silk Road. The Shaanxi (陕西）Province was the cradle of Chinese civilisation. It was the heartland of the Qin dynasty, whose warrior emperor united much of China for the first time.
Today we went to see the famous, more than 2000 years old Army of Terracotta Warriors guarding the tomb of emperor Qin Shi Huang. We had a bus for the group that took us to this site. We weren’t the only visitors, but somehow we managed to see and admire between thousands of Chinese visitors. The Terracotta Warriors are spectacular. Each life size figure has got an individual physionomy, different hand position, individual clothing including different patterns. The horses are beautiful too and it was interesting to see how the archeologists continue to work and put together more warriors piece by piece like a giant puzzle. Qin’s tomb has not yet been dug out, but it’s known that there are thousands of figures too. So the future will reveal a lot more.
During the Silk Road time Xi’an used to be a melting point of cultures and religions from all parts of Asia. The old Moslem quarter inside the ancient city wall is still a busy place with bargains and food stalls that reminds us of other parts along the Silk Road.
Later in the afternoon I went with Gaby and Gisèle to the modern shopping street with Prada. Apple and all the famous Swiss watch brands. Gaby got a new cover for her iphone, since she had lost it while taking a picture out of the driving car window. Then we walked through the Muslim quarter. When we got tired we took a tuktuk back to the hotel.
For dinner Philippe and I went to have Beijing duck in a very good specialized restaurant recommended by North, a very friendly assistant manager at the Grand Dynasty Culture hotel. It was excellent!