paulus travels

When I enter the hotel lobby it is already very cozy, a couple Americans are drinking beer and fooling around with the hotel staff. So it was around 2.30 when I found my bed.  The Terracotta Army is the reason to see this place. The first day was as usual. Having a look in town and doing some shopping. I bought a couple of brushes for my sister-in-law. I wasnít going to stay long in Xian so the evening I spent at the Chinese opera. This was more than I expected there were not only singing but also dancing and a guy who played the pan flute, and people playing the drums.

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The opera

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             Dancing in green                                           Dancing in orange                                          

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Playing the pan flute

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Red warriors dancing

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Dancing in red

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Talking with drums

The hotel pleased me even being alone there was a guide who brought me there by cab and stayed with me to tell what the show was about. Going back to the hotel he explained me about his work and what he was earning. He earned 60 Euro for a 9 hours working day, every day. They also get shelter and food. The food was OK but the housing is below standard. It seems to be a bad deal for them, but it will get better in the coming years. China is booming so it must affect their income in the years to come. My guide gave me some info how to get to the Terracotta Army.

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Opposite the train station take bus 306 or 307 and go to the end of the line. You will get out on a big car park and then walk to the entrance. The bus trip takes about an hour. You better be early so you will avoid the crowds. There are guides who can lead you around and tell you about the sites. My guide took me to the museum first and then to the three buildings where the Army is found. Pit nr 2 and 3 are not very interesting because most of the Army is still covered by earth.

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Standing Archer

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Kneeling archer

This is because they are looking for a method to preserve the colors. Until now the colors are disappearing within 3 days. But after having seen pit 2 and 3 and entering pit nr 1 you will be astonished. Here you will find lots of Terracotta Warriors. Snap, snap, snap cameras are working overtime. You will be around 20 meters away so bring your tripod. It is unbelievably impressive; all the faces of the warriors are different and have a look at the horses, stunning.

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So many Terracotta Warriors

 

 

 

 

The Terra cotta Army from the rear and front

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Me at pit nr. 1

.. More then 2000 years old and the Chinese where able to work with materials in this hi standard. I bought two small sculptures at the museum store. A general and a sitting archer. Also bought a book about the Army and got a signature in it from the farmer who discovered the historical site. Leaving the grounds a large group of people will try to sell you statues for cheep. By saying boejao se se (no thank you I donít want to buy} you will relief yourself a bit from them. Because I started early I had time to go and see the Muslim quarter in the afternoon and see the mosque. And of course having a look around for a nice T-shirt or two.o.

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A student making a drawing or the mosque

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In the hotel they told me that there is a water ballet every evening in front of the Wild Goose Pagoda. It is a stunning big water ballet sized over a football pitch big, with music and heaps of lights.

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As you see loads of water

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The big square with the Big Wild Goose Pagoda

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They might arrest you

Well Xian was after all nicer then I expected it to be. Because the walk of E Mei Shan in the neighborhood of Leshan would take 2 days I skipped that one. Now I will walk Hua Shan one of the 5 sacred mountains in China. To get there from Xian you have to find a bus that is going there and will take around two hours. Finding this bus might be hard so bring a note so people can guide you to it. In the bus I meet Wen Jing whom I will call Eric from now on (they like to have English names}. Walking these mountains is for Chinese like pilgrimage is for Christians. Eric is a student on a university in Beijing as is here on his own. So we walk to the foot of the mountains and enter the gates and buy a ticket. We take a bus that will take us to the Cable car or the start of the trail up. I will take the Cable car because that is a 1.5-hour difference to the trail.

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Going up by cable car

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Walking from top to top

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Hua Shan a sacred experience and a lot of Chinese.

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Monasteries on the ridge

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Eric at Hua Shan

It is Sunday so there are so many Chinese that it is hard to walk the stair in your own pace. It is hard going up down and up again on the narrow stairway. People are resting on the sporadically found places to do so. Because on the stairway there is no place you can stand still. There are places where you can buy some food and water but bringing it yourself it will be cheaper. Going to the tops of these mountains you will meet the same people a long the way. They like to take their picture with you and smile a lot. And the amount helloís where alarming. When you reached the northern peak you can get to the eastern peak walking the path over the mountain ridge.

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Red ribbons and locks on the chain.

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I reached the top of Hua Shan

Taoist Monk at Hua Shan

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paulus travels