Finally some good sleep again. And a luxury day as well. We met our guide, professor Li, at 11 o’clock. A really nice guy, working together with professor Ji. We also got a personal driver for today. What a luxury. First stop of the day was a restaurant for a huge lunch with local food. Great stuff and very different again from the food in Xining.
Then we drove to the terracotta army museum, which was about one hour away from the center. This day was very hot. Almost 40 degrees and the sunshine almost hurt on the skin. The main hall of the terracotta army was as hot as outside but without the wind. I probably lost half a liter of sweat within 20 minutes. But pretty amazing to see the terracotta warriors.
All of them got destroyed just 4 years after the emperor’s death, when a general who didn’t really like the emperor set fire to the monument. So all the warriors on the picture were put together again and in fact, most of them are still work in progress.
The first part of a terracotta head was just discovered in the 1970s. Not so long ago. A large part of the monument will remain untouched until they have better technology to preserve it. A respectable decision.
Parts of the museum were completely overcrowded and a bit too many souvenir stores maybe. But still great to have seen it.
Then we went back to town and visited the city wall. It started to rain so we went to a cafe and had a coffee. We had an long and interesting talk about history, which Li was an expert in.
The rain was getting stronger, so we decided to get back. Our driver picked us up and the rain turned into a thunderstorm. The water was accumulating on the streets and soon we got stuck. We were standing in a queue in crazy rain and the water level kept rising. Almost worrisome. The waves were splashing against the floor of the car but it stayed just below the doors.
Good that we brought leftovers from lunch because we got stuck for more than two hours. Finally, the water level started to decrease again and we dared to drive through the lake. But only to get stuck into traffic again. The whole city was chaotic and it took another three hours to get back to the hotel.
The guys here in China are great people. Yesterday’s tour and then the tour today were priceless memories. I hope I can return the favors one day.