I thought the trains must be on the bottom part so I went all the way down but still had no clue. At this point I was in a panic. I had 7 min to get on the train. I stopped a young couple with an older lady and asked them but they did not know where I should go. I looked around and knew I could not miss this train, nor could I afford to buy another ticket. I broke down and started to cry, the couple and the old lady where distressed but as I looked around, everyone else was laughing at me, men standing on the stairs pointing down and laughing, the military guards. The young couple finally begged with military guard to help me and though he was laughing he started to run up the stairs. I was wearing a winter coat, gloves, a hat and had a big backpack so trying to keep up was killing me but I ran so fast up those stairs, he didnt even look back to make sure I was behind him. We ran up 2 flights of stairs and outside, around the building to numerous huge lines. He pushed through and people were so mad, but took me to the front of the line and the man let me in.
I get into the station and look up to see about 30 trains and lucky me, my train was was one of the last trains down a long, crowded hallway. I had less than 2 min to get on the train, I ran so fast, possibly knocking people over, its all a blur. I showed the lady my ticket and she rushed me to the entrance, where I ran down a long flight of stairs and jumped on the train, I am not exaggerating when I say my left foot was not even on the train before it started to pull away. I made it.
But, I was not in the right car, in fact, I was 2 cars over. I was dripping with sweat at this point and the hallways of the train were so narrow. Also since the rooms are smaller than some bathrooms in the states, with only two bunk beds and a small table, there are fold out chairs in the hallway so people can sit. Everyone was already sitting in the hallway eating ramon soup, of course (China had the larges selection of Ramon soup I had ever seem, 3 full aisle, even more than Korea). They all had to get up, put the chair up and still I barely made it through with my backpack, I might have even spilt some Ramon, sorry.
Of course I could not find my room, luckily a nice young man who spoke English helped me. I got to my room and looked at my bed. I was on the top bunk because it was 25 yen cheaper of course. The step to get up the bed was as tall as my chest, I took off all my stuff, went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and what not because I knew that once I got up on that bed, that I was not coming down. I don't know how I did it but I flung myself up there, while hitting my head on the ceiling of course. The three men who where sharing a room with me laughed so hard. I didn't care, I was on that train, I put my eye mask on, ear plugs in and fell directly asleep. I slept for 13 hours, until the train pulled into the Xi'an station.
Leaving the station, the first thing I saw was a McDonalds, and yes I ran straight to it, I was starving and had not had McDonald's breakfast in a long while. The staff in McDonalds spoke great English. There were of course military guards everywhere, tis China.
The McDonalds was on the second floor, I went to the bottom restaurant and sat there for a bit before I realized it was not the McDonalds
My only directions for finding the bus where to find one with green writing on it that says Terracotta Army, and that is what I did.
|Behind me is the start of the Terracotta Army.|
This chariot was one of 2 that where made from metal and fabrics.
The Clinton family with the army.
A replica of the land and the mounds.
The 2nd and largest vault.
They have discovered and reconstructed thousands of Terra-cotta soldiers to date.
The soldiers are assembled in lines with barriers separating them, which once held wooden columns to hold the wooden ceiling that shielded the army but over time the wood fell apart and collapsed down on the army, crumpling them.
They figured out that the statues where made in stages, their feet where solid and their body and heads hollow. Their heads where attached separately and last.
This is one of the chariots, they have yet to reconstruct any of the chariots.
This section has yet to be worked on.
This section is currently being worked on and they are piecing together each soldier piece by piece. They find pieces and mark on a map where and what they found and then put the pieces in the same area until they have enough to assemble a soldier.
These are the most recently assembled soldiers that have yet to be put back into their place.
This is the 3rd vault, where the Emperor's body lies.
Behind the guards that once where controlling a chariot, is the tomb of the Emperor.
|Yes that is me! Don't I fit in nicely?|
Look at the detail in just the hair.
This was the only soldier that was found undamaged, whole.
By the big belly, you can tell he was in high rank and very wealthy....I wish that was the case for big bellies now a days.
Their shoes also show their status, the higher the end of the shoes curls up the more important they were.
Notice the shoes: low rank.
This is a picture of how they were found, with the paint.
This is the 2nd vault, it has yet to be dug or worked on.
I watched this man for 3 hours and he never moved, when I went down there, I tried to give him money and nudged him, I swear he was dead, it was quiet cold out.
Welcome to the wonderful dirty squatters of China, no real toilets, the smell was worse than dead animals.
What an adventure, I was happy to be heading back to Beijing, but again, totally worth the trip.
My amazing bed!
The spacious rooms.
Beijing train station, I was never so happy.
A store of Ramon. Always makes me smile!