Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Terra Cotta - To protect himself in the afterlife, a Chinese emperor built an army of over 7000 terra cotta warriors. To the current world, they were unknown until 30 years ago, when a farmer unearthed them digging a well. Since all the warriors were smashed and burned when Emperor Qin was conquered, they are still restoring the clay army. Its like the worlds biggest game of humpty-dumpty

Hot Springs - For Andrew's bday we
stayed at a condo with a hot spring. It was amazing to have our personal 25 foot sulfur bath. When we closed the vents, the room got so steamy you couldn't see across. Louise and I walked around trying looking for a cake for Andrew. We found a cake decorator (with the help of our local guide, a college student who guided us around the city all day to improve her English) who spent an hour decorating our cake. I'd never seen such precision with frosting. It came to $3

City Walls - Andrew and I walked the city walls of Xian, it took us 4 hours. Now the city has sprawled outside the walls, but it was cool to imagine a whole self sustaining city protecting itself from invaders. Pingyao is also a walled city, but much smaller. Xian has high rises inside the walls where Pingyao kept the same architecture from hundreds of years ago

Great Wall - The size and scope of the great wall is hard to grasp. 4000 miles of wall, wide enough to have 4 horsemen riding side by side. Guarded posts as close as every 500 meters. I guess if anyone had enough manpower to guard the wall, it was China.

Forbidden City and Tienanmen Square- The enormity of these 2 sites is unbelievable. The Forbidden City is over a kilometer wide, lined with gold and the most expensive gems. Its a microcosm of China to see beggars and poor outside these "over the top" palaces

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