We checked out of our hotel in Beijing after a morning of exploring the main street and headed out to lunch- a great vegetarian place with dumplings for days! We had a brief Chinese lesson from Louise at a local teahouse and got a private lesson on the tea ceremony and the six main kinds of tea that are popular across China.
From here we drove to the Capital museum, a massive building filled with every piece of history you could imagine about China, and stayed until close. And of course, we can always count on Dr. Pitner for an awesome meal!
We said goodbye to our tour guide Louise and maneuvered our way through the train station. We boarded to find our little compartments and settled in to work on journals and get to know each other a little better. Or at least that's what it felt like in the 6x7' rooms with two bunk beds.
This morning we arrived in Xi'an right on schedule! While it's a city that is smaller than Beijing in both size and population, Xi'an has a long history. It was the starting point of the Silk Road, and served as the capital during 13 dynasties. Currently it serves as a major hub for industry and manufacturing and is rated third in China for higher education with 80 universities.
After meeting our new tour guide, Mark, we headed out to see the proclaimed 8th Wonder of the World: the Terracotta Warriors. Thousands of these warriors served as protection for Emperor Qing Shihuang, the First Emperor, in the afterlife. Three pits located 1.5km from his mausoleum contain individually crafted generals, officers, warriors, archers, and horse-drawn chariots in strategically placed battle formation.
Our last destination today was the Banpo Museum, an archeological site and museun dedicated to a neolithic settlement from 6000 years ago. The residential area, burial sites, pottery, and utensils of everyday life were on display for us to explore.