29 March 2008

China: Day 8

After a buffet breakfast we were off at 8am to the Banpo stone-age museum. We had a look around at what had been unearthed there then met in the grounds where there were beautiful magnolia trees in bloom. It began to get sunny and warm.

We went on to the factory where the official reproductions of the terracotta warriors are made. It was interesting to see the moulds used to make the reproductions and to see how much work went into making them.
After that we went to Huaqing hot springs and I loved the gardens and architecture which struck me as being typically Chinese. There was a lot more greenery here than we had seen elsewhere in China.
We had a wonderful buffet lunch near the terracotta warriors museum. As we walked in the chef was making noodles. We went on to the terracotta warriors. The sun and heat were by now very intense and I wished I had brought my umbrella to use as a sunshade like the Chinese women.
My first glimpse of the terracotta warriors brought a tear to my eye. They were even more impressive than I had imagined. We watched a movie about the discovery of the terracotta warriors, which was shown in a circular theatre. We were then free for a few hours to visit Pit 1 (the most impressive), Pit 3, and the bronze chariots museum on our own. We met up later at a teahouse.
We arrived back at the hotel in time to get dressed up to go out to the Tang Dynasty Show. The food there was delicious and very well-presented. After we had finished our meal two of the singers on the stage began to sing Happy Birthday and brought a huge birthday cake to Freda, one of the ladies in our group. She was then handed an enormous knife the size of a broompole to cut the cake with.
The performance was very beautiful, both the dancing and the costumes. I bought the DVD of the performance as I knew that the photos I took would not do the performance justice.

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