Orient Express 09 travel blog

D&K at the South Wall

The drums

A screen from where I bought my carpet. Isnt it beautiful... I...

you can see how big it all is.

Note how small the people are.

restored horses

the marionettes

What can I say? We saw the Terracotta Warriors today. Helen and I cant believe it! We were really there. I took so many photos Ive used up the battery already. Its completely dead.

But lets start at the start...

We started off the day at the South gate of the city.

It was great. We (H&L) went on a rickshaw together, David and Kevin were on theirs and we wanted a bit of a race, but the chain came off our bike. Bugger. They beat us soundly... I hate that!

Kevin and I finally tracked down icypoles and we were eating them at 9.30 this am. They were the tastiest treat we’ve had. They were cola and lemon... Sounds disgusting but I was hanging for an icypole and so beggars cant be choosers. People thought we were strange and we are so thats ok. Better than the grape flavoured icecream he had the other night that was supposed to be choc. He said it tasted like a chemical experiment that never needed to be repeated.

On the way back to the bus I bought some beautiful tablecloths. Satin lookalikes.... but beautiful! Will likely never use them, but very pretty.( And doube sided)

Lunch today was in a local place that housed 4 weddings at the same time. All making enough noise to wake the dead! All together but at different stages of their celebrations.

There were firecrackers, singing, people in ceremonial clothes, white and red brides. Really strange because it was sort of in a market.

On our way to the warriors we stopped in at a terracotta warrior factory for the demonstration... (um... shopping opportunity).. So we bought our fill of little warriors... They had the most amazingly beautiful lacquered furniture. I wanted all of it. Dont worry. Ive bought none!...

Should I fess up that I bought a carpet?

Its smaller than my others... yes, a tree of life... and even better quality than the Turkish one.

How could I come to the Silk Road and not buy a carpet.

I got a very good price. ½ price and I know I did as I know what I paid in Morocco and Turkey. They wanted to give me firstly 20%, then 30%, then asked me what I was prepared to pay. I told them and that was that. They weren’t happy but made the sale..The way I figure it its an investment for Kelbel.

I tell the blokes on the bus that I have no husband telling me I cant. The men look sheepish and th women laugh. They just expect me to come back with shopping now.

Then the Warriors...

H & I spent most of the time thinking about Tim today. Yes, I miss him every day and even more than usual today. I could hear him in my head... Can you believe this L... We’re at the Terracotta Warriors!!!! Yep Tim, we were. I had taken a small amount of ashes with me, and Helen and I sprinkled some in pit number 1. So Tim has actually been to the warriors too.

Helen and I were a little emotional but nobody could believe they were there. There are 3 pits... pit 1 is the biggest and most fully excavated, pit 2 and 3 are much smaller and need much much more work.Most of the warriors were broken and have been repaired by the archaeologists. As with Egypt each successive emperor or winner of war destroys what they can find of the previous ruler.

Kevin showed us a pic of a warrior and what he told us was a doll. We didnt believe him. We thought it was a photo opportunity kindly provided and that he had taken a photo of a warrior and little girl. However it turned out that it was exactly as he described it. It was huge, about 2 stories high. They were actually handmade marionettes holding hands, used in the Olympics. Did anyone see them? None of us had.

The warriors have been a lifelong dream of many people and today its been crossed off the list.

The group of people on this tour are all pretty good. All fairly similar in age between Helen and I. I’d say Kevin is the youngest.

We’ve been getting on well with most people and funnily enough I seem to have gravitated towards the drinkers. We all enjoy a beer with our meals. The beer is all half strength so its not as if we are even tiddly. Its just so hot and steamy... Unfortunately the chinese wouldn’t know a cold beer if it stood up and bit them on the bum.

Most of the group have good senses of humour and you can play with them. Some of them wouldn’t know how to play or joke to save themselves.

Of course today its raining and maybe some bits are flooding. We are quite resigned to the fact that everywhere we go it floods. We think there’s a causal relationship.

Its quite cool, but steamy today ... I cant quite figure that out but its so.

Today is also very smoggy, foggy and drizzlyish. We are on our way now to the mosque and bazaar.

PS I think I’m losing weight. This is not a bad thing!

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