To get to the Xian Terracotta Warriors and Horses location, I will take the 307 bus. It was possible to book on-line tourist busses that go directly, but I have decided on a line bus. Many faster busses pass us in our way to the excavation site.
Groups of tourists get down from private buses. But, the parking lot is ready for way more visitors. One perk of travelling off-season is to have more space.
I see many western tourists, that is interesting for a change. The Xian Terracotta Warriors and Horses is famous enough to attract tourists from the West even in low season.
The mausoleum consists of three different excavations sites. I start by the two smaller ones and then move to the big one. I feel an increasing sense of awe. The big one is the most impressive.
Broken pieces of pottery pile up in the ground. Farther away, archaeologists are recomposing the warriors as if it were a three-dimensional puzzle. The amount of work to create the terracotta warriors is impressive. The dedication to bringing them to their original glory is admirable as well. After looking at the figures for a long time and taking over two hundred pictures from a myriad of different angles, I am satisfied with the visit and ready to move on.
I get into the 307 again for my next destination, the Huaqing Hot Springs. An impressive pool with water pouring out of a dragon’s head is one of the several hot spring pools in the complex. After visiting several historical buildings, I start my ascension to Mount Li.
I cannot see the top of the mountain but just stairs going up. I walk up some stairs. I continue going up more and more stairs. Once more, the views are less-than-good. A thick smog covers the foot of the mountain. I continue ascending, anyway. Many hikers are in what it looks like a pilgrimage to the top. As the stairs become more and more steeply groups of people stop to rest. I continue pushing for the top.
I finally get there. The prize after so much effort is a reproduction of a vigilance tower. Now that I am here, I go up several more stairs up to the last floor. The views would be incredible if it were not for the fog.
As I walk down, I can see the hope in the eyes of the first hikers I see. They had seen me go up a few minutes ago, they realize that the summit has to be close by. I smile back acknowledging their realization.
For my way back to the city, I want a faster bus. As I approach the stop, there is a bus waiting there. A woman harries me to get in. I only have time to say “Xi’an railway station”. I get a nod as an answer. The bus is packed, the next stop is the last one, and a couple of travellers sit in a couple of folding chairs as there are no more sits remaining. This bus is an express that only stops a couple of times before arriving at Xi’an. I got back to the hotel. It has been a challenging but fun day.