Marc and I said goodbye to the rest of the IBD Adventures team and enjoyed an extra day in Beijing before heading the the train station for our overnight trip to Xi’an. We walked around the lake in the old part of town and were quite surprised to see people bathing in it? Seriously, it looked like they were taking a HUGE health risk swimming but maybe they have some kind of special resistance against all the bacteria in there?

The over night train to Xi’an was an adventure as well, sharing our sleeper compartment with a local woman who invited 4 other women into the compartment and they sat on my bed and chatted in very loud voices starting at 6am. I felt like my personal space was being violated but I guess that happens in China and I was grateful that I don’t have to live like this all the time. It definitely an exercise in patience and letting go…

We arrived in Xi’an first thing in the morning, had a quick bite to eat and then drove straight to see the Terracotta Warriors. They have a huge complex set up to accommodate this incredible excavation site. It was fascinating to hear about the history of the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, and how he built this army to protect in the afterlife. These sculptures date back to the late third century BC and were discovered by a local farmer in the mid 70’s. It is estimated that there are over 8000 soldiers,  130 chariots, 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses. Many of these artifacts are still buried under the ground.

We spent the afternoon visiting the wall that surrounds Xi’an and separates the old city from the new. We explored local markets and even visited a mosque in the centre of the old city. It was a beautiful city, still huge but a nice change from the massive expanse of Beijing.