January 10th

Day two of our Xi’an stay started off with a visit to what many call the Eighth Wonder of the World- the Terracotta Army. The first emperor of China built an army of over 8,000 life-size pieces to accompany him into the afterlife. The army was discovered in 1974 by farmers digging a well- it has since developed into one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. The site is not fully excavated- we were able to see about 1,500 soldiers and horses. It was incredible.

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The army was actually destroyed about thirty years after its creation by rebels against the Qin dynasty- the soldiers we see today have all been reassembled by archaeologists. We even got to see some working today.

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After the visit, we had a delicious lunch followed by a visit to an art museum in the city. Our guide provided extensive and fascinating information about the history of Chinese painting and calligraphy, and we even got to try writing some characters ourselves!

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Our next stop was Xi’an’s Muslim Quarter, where we visited its central mosque before venturing into the local markets where we could shop or try some exotic foods- how does sheep’s foot sound to you?

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Our day ended with another fantastic dinner and free time to explore the city or enjoy this very nice hotel. We have another early morning tomorrow as we take flight number 3 to our next city, Shanghai!

Check out more photos from the day at http://www.flickr.com/photos/113489266@N06/sets/72157639617120315/

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