Friday, December 5, 2008

Weekend trip to China

This has become almost the norm, the third time I have done a weekend in China. I went to Beijing and Xian with my parents and Michelle. I had two main things I wanted to see, the Terra Cotta warriors in Xi'an and the Summer Palace in Beijing. Neither one disappointed, and we had a great time learning about the history of China and surviving the cold. The only let-down was the Forbidden City, we were all exhausted and had not had enough lunch (ie almost none, and what we had had was due to me being a royal pain to Michelle earlier and her buying baked yams…) My parents seemed fairly disgusted by the size of the Forbidden city (okay great, more big ostentatious buildings). After the summer palace, it was harder to appreciate the Forbidden City, which surprised me. That said, it is still amazing, and on a warmer day with more food in our bellies…

Xi'an was really cool, it is amazing the sheer size everything. And to think that it had been hidden for centuries! 54 square kilometers, how do you hide that?!?! Apparently by killing everyone who worked on it (but they didn't consider him a nice Emperor, actually probably most of the rulers of China are people I would never want to meet, but must have been amazing people in one way shape or form!) Speaking of, it was interesting to read about one dynasty that buried the previous emperor (Ming dynasty I think) out of respect of tradition. That is totally different from a country like Egypt which defaced the previous pharaohs. Anyway, the Terra Cotta warriors were amazing, and so colorful in their time! Hard to believe that they have uncovered 600 pits (and really only excavated about 3 of them). They are waiting until they have the technology to really preserve them. So much history in this land, I definitely need to spend at least a year traveling around China! (of course I wouldn't mind learning Mandarin first though!)

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