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PADDY'S CHINA TRIP
XI' AN - 1 - Terracotta Warriors

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April 25, 2011.  Last night we flew to Xi'An. After breakfast we went to visit the Great Wild Goose Pagoda, built in 652 during the Tang Dynasty.

                               

              

The photos show the entrance to the Buddhist Pagoda, the building from a distance, and a close up of the stairs leading to it. We then have an ubiquitous gift shop with an incense burner on its front, and a close up of the same. There are many other pavilions and more burning incense receptacles.

 

                        

We saw one of the many images of Buddha, and a bass-relief of Chinese characters on an arch at the same pagoda.  Paddy stood in front of another Buddha statue, and next to it there was still one more. After all, this is a Buddhist monastery. Then we have another Buddha made of ceramic, and one more altar dedicated to him.

 

                     

There was an ornate column on the Wild Goose Pagoda grounds, and on the inside we could see a collection of bronze statuettes. A rack of red offering candles was placed nearby, and   monks  were strolling the gardens and mingling with the visitors.

 

                                                                   

Monk Xuanzang supervised the construction of the pagoda, and his biography states that, after many years of wandering, he returned to Xi'An to fulfill his destiny.

                               

 

              

We were then taken to a calligraphy demonstration. They showed us the brushes, pens, and rice paper used in making the characters. Chinese is a pictographic language, and every character means something different when combined with others.

 

              

A lacquer workshop followed the calligraphy demonstration. The screens were beautiful, and the furniture artisans were very thorough.

 

         

We had lunch at the place where they showed us how the famous Chinese noodles are made, specifically using lots of stretching.

 

    

After that we were on our way to see the Terracotta Warriors. We were surprised to pass by nuclear reactors in a power plant. They are one of the causes for the foul air of the region.

 

                        

                      

The first photo shows the structure that houses the Terracotta Warriors, and Paddy standing in front of them; the next one is the site of Pit # 1, where in 1974 workers in search of water found the amazing statues.

 

                    

                  

 Later photos show the magnitude of the project. At close range the warriors and the horses are amazingly detailed, and it is said that no two are alike. The last photos show what the soldiers images might have looked like before they were found. No one knows exactly why they were built, but it may have been the desire of the First Emperor to spare the lives of those who were destined to die to serve him in the afterlife.

 

 

                   

                   

                        

    

In the evening we attended the "Ming Dynasty Dinner Show". The costumes were very elaborate, and the program notes indicated the ancient musical instruments used in each number. There were dances and songs in honor of the Spring and all the flowers and birds of the season. Pat & I really enjoyed the show.

Our next adventure will be the wall surrounding Xi'An.

                     

 

 

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