In the mean time

So... I deleted my facebook account. I tried to log in one day and it said I had adware on my computer that they didn't work with/didn't approve/didn't install and that I had to install a security scanner from their site in order to log in from my computer. I checked everything on my computer using the security software I already had and found nothing. So they were lying. Anyway, because I don't trust them, I had my husband delete my account from another location. And I'm fine. Don't miss it much. But I do want to keep up with my friends. So please updates blogs and drop me a line. I want to keep in touch. Just not so ... on the grid.

You can follow me on instagram -toadybear42 - or find me on Google+.


The Terra Cotta Warriors

The Terra Cotta Warriors. It was awesome. It was kind of surreal. I have wanted to see them for quite some time. A few years ago I was in Virginia and there was a traveling exhibit of the warriors in Washington DC. I couldn't swing to go and see them and I've been bummed since. So I very much enjoyed going to the site of discovery.

On our way there, we stopped at a factory (tourist trap) that shows you how the warriors were constructed. We had the opportunity to take these fun shots:


The warriors were molded and cast in parts. Each warrior has at least one unique distinguishing characteristic.
They make life size warriors for purchase. You can also send in 6 profile pictures and have your head put on the warrior. Cool huh? for only 99.99 a month for 2 years you can be one of the Emporer's Warriors. Whatever.

Next we went to the site of the discovery.
 Not my best picture.
 This is site 1.
 Each head is different from the ones around it. The location of the ponytail of these guys meant they were archers - they could reach behind themselves and pull out an arrow without their hair getting in the way.

 This guys was a charioteer. We kind of laughed at how skinny he is.
 These guys were in the "hospital ward." In the back, on top of a part they have not yet excavated, they pull all the warrior out and piece them back together and fill in the missing parts.
 I wanted to take a picture of the horses faces, but there was stuff in the way. They were pretty impressive. Live size.
 A partially excavated area.
 There were all lined up in rows of four with these huge walls in between them. Over the top was a wooden roof. There was evidence that some of it was burned at some point.
 The heads are loose, as they are each unique to the warrior they represented. These guys' head were either getting fixed or were smashed beyond repair.
 Horses in pit 2.
 As they excavate they are finding that the warriors were painted bright colors. They have stopped excavating until they can come up with a way to save the paint. Some of the paint, once exposed to the air, fades as quickly as a month. They figure it's safer to leave them in the dirt, protected until science can help on that one. This guy still has some of the red paint on his armor. He was in a glass case.
 A charioteer and a horse.
 These guys were exactly half size. They were made of bronze. There were two carriages. The second one was like a tank would have been something like the emperor rode in.
 This is the man who discovered the sites. He looked pretty bored. This is now his job. There is a new book every year with updates. I got one in English and had him sign it.

Pictures others took:
 This is pit 3.
 You can see what it looks like when they are first found.
 The second bronze carriage.
The line of men at the front of pit 1.

It was pretty cool.

The next morning we headed out to Beijing, our final stop on our trip before coming to Xiamen.


Xi'An City Wall

The Xi'An City Wall is, I think (and don't quote me on this) the only fully intact ancient city wall in China. You can ride a bike along the top all the way around -9 miles. It sounds daunting, but we did it and enjoyed it. Our sit-down bones were a little tender the next morning though. If you ever get the chance to go to Xi'An, I highly recommend riding around the top. It takes a bout an hour and half at a moderate pace, stopping to take some pictures.

 This is what happens when my sister lets me download her pictures onto my computer. hehe.

It was awesome. And thank goodness we went early. Our days in Xi'An reached into the upper 90's while we were there. And with no shade on the wall, it was best to do it before it got too hot for the day.

Then we headed out to the biggest reason to go to Xi'An. The Terra Cotta Warriors.


The Muslim Quarter

After the stone steeles we went to the Great Mosque in Xi'An. It's not called great because of the building's size or architecture, but because of how many it can hold. It's quite large. 
 It has four courtyards.
 It's very old.
 There are places for 1200 to pay inside, and can fit another 400 in the courtyards, for a total of 1600 total capacity for the men to pray.

Nice carvings.

The street around the mosque is a market, mostly run by the Muslim population of Xi'An.

 We got these delicious pancakes for dinner. Both nights we were there. Accompanied by cool fresh squeezed orange juice. Yummy dinner.
 Sorry for the unattractive picture. Only one I have of us eating.
 The street.

 This was a popular theme of goods for sale in the street markets. Our guide in Guilin told us Obama is great Communist. Awesome.
 As it got darker these lights in the trees turned on and gave the effect of white and blue rain. As soon as I can find some to buy, I will. I love them. they are really pretty in the dusk and the dark.
Because of the girls' blonde hair, lots of Chinese wanted pictures of them. Mostly my cousin Abby. I think because she has blonde hair and brown eyes. Most of the blondes we saw had blue eyes.
The drum tower of Xi'An. Towards the right, behind the tower is where the Muslim street heads. It was pretty. This was taken from the plaza right in front of our hotel. I loved it. Xi'An has been the only other city that had a feel to it that made me think I could live there. No, I'm not staying in China any longer, but I did really like Xi'An.

The next morning we got up early and went to ride bikes around the city wall.