Location: Xi'an

After one glorious week in China, we started week two by visiting the Terracotta Soldiers. In 110-degree weather, we began the day by learning about a selfish emperor who had 3,000 wives, more than 7,000 unique soldiers, and a bunch of booby traps placed around his tomb. During the afternoon, we stopped at a local farmer’s restaurant where we ate some of the best food on the trip thus far! We had an eggplant dish, fried mushrooms, garlic broccoli, a delicious dessert of honey potato, and lots more. After lunch, we went to the museum where we saw the army of the Terracotta Soldiers and saw the pits where the booby traps were placed to protect Emperor Qin’s tomb from tomb robbers. Inside one of these pits, the archaeologists found bones and other remains of someone who got caught in the booby trap. Moving forward on tour, we watched a film reenactment of the warriors fighting in battle. When the movie was over, we got ice cream and enjoyed cold smoothies. It was so crazy hot outside that while we were walking back to the van, rather than the group holding the tickets in their hands, the sun had given us the ability to stick our tickets to our sweaty heads.

After the tour was over, we headed back to the train. Daniel, our tour guide, mentioned that this was his 2,700th time in 25 years of leading this tour. He told us he hopes to make it, to visit the Terracotta Soldiers 4,000 times! The train line was a little longer than we expected, so we hung out for a while at the station. I passed the time by playing my newly acquired musical fish instrument while Shaun danced to my music with his Chinese fan to see if anyone would throw a few Yuan in our cup. Unfortunately, our silliness did not earn us any coin, but it was still a great way to kill some time. We boarded the train and found our car buzzing with a wild troupe of 8-12-year-old kids on a summer program. I used my Chinese book to learn new words to communicate with our new friends. The final drama we had was the sausage battle starring Queen Angela vs. the Great Shaun Wins. One of the little kids onboard gave Angela a Chinese snack sausage, and she smacked Shaun in the face with it! It was hilarious, and an epic battle ensued.