對讀中史長大的我，自小覺得西安是中原的正中央，既是歷代 13 個皇朝的首都，又是通往世界的絲綢之路起點。不管過去二、三十年西安變得有多現代化，每次到西安都感覺回到中華文化的起源地。
給 Kim 介紹羊肉泡饃，第一次吃時，她的饃掰得不夠細，似吃羊肉湯包，但她覺得好玩又好吃。第二次給她點已掰好的，用湯匙一口一口吃，就此上癮了。
我的至愛是那中文字有 60 多個筆劃的 Biang Biang 麵，又名褲帶麵，麵長如古裝褲帶，一碗一大條，麵質厚而寬，口感勁韌，沒有湯底，只有麵汁，是用番茄、牛骨、大蒜、芫荽和辣油煮成。
Emperor’s Terracotta Army／Kimberlogic
Xian was the capital city of China for thirteen different dynasties. Xian’s biggest claim to fame is the Terracotta Army that was found in the 1970’s. As with most archeology discoveries, the Terracotta Army was accidentally discovered by a couple of farmers.
This region was known to have many underground springs, so in 1974, when these farmers were trying to dig a well, they kept finding fragments of terracotta sculptures. Archeologists were brought in and discovered the largest pottery figurine group ever found in China.
There are three different pits containing the army. It is estimated that these pits hold more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses. Besides the army, non-military figures were found in other pits, including officials, acrobats, strongmen, musicians and animals. As if the size and amount of figures weren’t impressive enough, each figure that has been unearthed is completely unique. The figures vary in height, weight, uniform and hairstyle, plus, all of the human figures have a different face.
Getting to the complex was quite simple. After exiting Xian City Wall on the North side, there is a bus stop just a few meters away. Once on the bus, the ride was about an hour long and it dropped us right in the parking lot of the Terracotta Army complex. Tickets cost around 150 RMB per person and we were able to purchase them right at the gate. To get a slight idea of how big this necropolis is, after entering the first gate, you can choose to stroll along the semi-shaded paths for about 10 minutes or take a shuttle bus to the site of the three pits and museum.
The first pit is by far the most impressive. When we entered the building, I didn’t realize just how long the building actually is. It is basically like an airplane hangar which keeps the archeological site preserved and sheltered from the weather.
I’ve seen countless photos from this site, but being there in person really put things into perspective. The coolest part of visiting this place in person was to take the time to check out, up close as many warriors as I could with my zoom lens. Each one was so different. It was crazy to think about all of the workers making these figures and assembling them so many thousands of years ago.
The last pit we visited was pit two. Besides the digging site, this building also had a few of the soldiers assembled behind glass so you could see them up close. It was amazing to see all of the detail that went in to creating each soldier, even down to strands of hair and patterns on the bottom of their shoes.
Many emperors and rulers from all different countries have left some form of legacy behind. Emperor Qin Shi Huang replicated an army that has been well preserved since the third century BC. Even though archeologists have found his tomb, they have not opened it yet because they do not want the air to ruin the treasures believed to be inside. I believe finding an entire army outside his tomb is a good indication that the inside is even more spectacular. I just hope technology for preservation of artifacts advances enough in my life time to see inside of Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s tomb someday.