A Weekend sortie to Xi'An - home of the Terracotta Warriors
Ever since I heard about the discovery of the terracotta army, I've had a desire to see it with my own eyes. Such megalomania, such a belief in one's own immortality, the mind boggles at what China's very first emperor, Emperor Qin created in his lifetime. From the minute he ascended to the position, he collected together 780 000 people to build his mausoleum and the terracotta army. Considering that this was just over 2000 years ago is amazing and unbelievable. The Chinese definitely had technology at their disposable, that was far advanced to anything anywhere else in the world at that time.
Xi'An was definitely top of my list of places to see in China. But, after three years and due to leave in three months, I'm running out of time. Hence, my decision to go for a quick flying in and flying out sortie. Fly to Xi'An Friday night and return Saturday night. You really only need a day.
The cheap flights I managed to organise at a cheaper price than the overnight train, caused a flutter of nervousness when we found out it wasn't a recognisable airline. GS was its code, so we immediately nicknamed it Gunshot Airlines. When we boarded the plane with the cute cartoon dragon on its tail, (I mean, what reputable airline would have a cute cartoon dragon?) and saw the flight attendants wearing tracksuits and running shoes, our fears were not allayed. However, Grand China Express proved to be very good, in fact, we arrived at our destination safely and unscathed. We even survived all the old age pensioners all wearing the red peak caps from their tour group. It just proves that a sophisticated logo and beautifully dressed flight attendants does not make you the best.
If you ever make it to Xi'An, I recommend the Prince International Hotel which is centrally situated, is four stars and only cost $35 a night!