I arrived in Xian (pronounced See-ann) yesterday, and immediately went out exploring. I only had two nights booked here, so I knew I needed to move fast if I wanted to capture all of the sites. I started immediately with the parks and pagodas in Xian. The Small Wild Goose Pagoda was my first stop and I was able to capture some great images. My seven hour walk took me to Big Wild Goose Pagoda Park next. There were scores of locals enjoying this beautiful park. It is a huge open area with a large cascading waterfall as the centrepiece of the park. The weather has warmed up significantly since my last stop, so I am able to stay outdoors much longer. The area surrounding this park and the Tang Paradise has been beautified and looks nothing like the surrounding city of Xian. Cherry blossoms line both sides of the spotless boulevard and add a sweet aroma to an otherwise very polluted, overcrowded and dirty city.
The day of walking with all my gear took a serious toll on me. I had a 5:00am alarm set for this morning and I had a hard time getting myself out of bed. Once I was up, I knew this day was going to be pure magic. I wanted to be at the site of the Terracotta Army as soon as it opened, before all the tour busses got there. In my research, I found out that the site is a good hour away from the city and the tours start at 9:00am. This was not good enough, i didnt not want to arrive at 10:00am with all of the other tourists. I caught a local bus for $1.00 and made my way out there with the locals on their way to work! I was successful and I was one of the only people in Pit #1 when I arrived!
This army of over 8,000 soldiers, horses and chariots dates back to 210 B.C. and it depicts the army of Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China. The site was discovered by accident in 1974 when a farmer was digging a well. What he found has become of one the national treasures of China with only a fraction of the site being completely excavated. No two soldiers are alike, and the detail of each of them is magnificent. It is a shame that foreigners are not allowed to walk in the pit with the soldiers, I could get some even more amazing shots if I had a closer perspective of them. I am really happy with the images I managed to capture, even though I had a high and distant vantage point. The new long lens definitely came in handy today! Enjoy the images, my next stop is Guangzhou, China. See you there!