John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Sunday 22 June 2014

[Saturday 21 June 2014]

5* Tibet Hotel, Chengdu
09:55–11:05 Chegdu–Xi'an
4* Grand Metropark Hotel, Xi'an
Day 11, Chengdu & Xi’an (B/L/D)
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Xi’an. Known to many as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”, a visit to the spectacular Terracotta Warriors is an unforgettable experience. Taking nearly four decades to complete and over 700,000 workers, this incredible tomb was built to protect China’s first emperor in his afterlife. Continue to the Muslim Quarter — a labyrinth of market stalls and shops,
[i] then in the evening travel back in time whilst you watch the colourful Tang Dynasty dancing show.
[i] The visit to the Muslim Quarter was done on 23 June 2014.

Day 173 1 Kings 22; 2 Kings 1; Mark 3
The alarm went off at 5.30am.… We boarded the coach ca.7.30am. Another hot day. Under Max’s supervision, check-in and security proceeded smoothly. Bearing in mind the problem we had on the previous internal flight I put the batteries in my hand-luggage. (Janet couldn’t find some batteries but they evidently didn’t appear on the scan of the hold-luggage.) Take-off was scheduled for 10:05 and occurred just about on time (10:08). Landing was scheduled for 11:25 and occurred about ¼-hour early (11:09). As we approached, the terrain looked yellowish as if arid. At Xi’an airport, after we grabbed our cases from the baggage-claim carousel, Janet opened one of them, retrieved a holdall, which had been folded up flat, and put into it stuff we’d need — underwear, etc. — for the next day. For our cases were loaded onto a van for transfer to the overnight slow train to Beijing and thence to the hotel there. Max, mindful of the risk of pilfering, had obtained little luggage-padlocks for those, including us, who requested them. Max told us that there were two guides, “Anne” and “Candy”. Evidently he fancied them, but favoured Candy over Anne. I considered Anne, who was our “Coach A” guide, to be cute and naturally appealing, but Candy too artificially “dolled up”. The airport was perhaps some 40 minutes to where we stopped in the town. I realised that the yellowing wasn’t due to aridity, for when I “lifted up my eyes, and looked on the fields”, I saw that “they were white already to harvest”. For this was wheat-growing country. Lunch was upstairs, in a room at the back of a large area with department-store type counters selling all manner of souvenir items. Lunch was served in the usual, round-table, “lazy Susan” manner; and before proceeding out of town to the Terracotta Army museum there was time to browse the “department store”. This was of no interest to me, apart from there being copies of Chairman Mao’s “red book” in various languages including English, which I bought.




On the way to the Terracotta Army, Anne told us that it was discovered by accident in 1974 when local farmers digging a well broke into a pit containing terracotta figures. If we were lucky, she said, the farmer who actually made the discovery might be at the museum shop signing books. Out of a large illustrated book she showed us things we should look out for while we were in the museum.


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 14:09:48
“Standing Archer”


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 14:10:56
“Charioteer flanked by two soldiers” (left) and “Cavalryman with his horse” (right)


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 14:11:46
“High Ranking Officer, possibly a General”

The high-ranking officers could be recognised, she told us, by their paunch, their “general belly” she added (i.e. “general” as in the army-officer rank) — evidently they ate well!


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 14:18:20
“Unarmoured Soldier” and “Armoured Officer”


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 14:19:22
“Kneeling Archer”

Not far from the museum, Anne pointed out through the coach windows the mound where the as yet unexcavated tomb of Qin Shihuang, the emperor for whom the whole mausoleum complex was constructed, was, but I failed to see it. We stopped outside the museum grounds and left the coach.


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 14:32:32
Entering the Terracotta Army exhibition site


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 14:35:40
Approaching the building housing Pit №1

Before we entered the huge hangar-like enclosure of Pit №1, Anne gathered us together and told us something about it. The place was heaving with people, especially along the shorter side where one entered, making it hard to push in to get half-decent photos. Janet and I turned left from the central entrance, walked along half of the first side, where there were steps down, then right along the longer side, right again along the farther short side, right again along the other longer side, and back up steps along the second half of the first side. Occasionally there was a tour-group blocking the way, with their guide giving information; the wisdom of Anne’s doing this before we entered became evident.


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 14:37:16
“Pit №1”




Sunday 22 June 2014 — 14:43:44
Pit №1


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 14:43:52
Pit №1


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 14:44:00
Pit №1


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 14:44:08
Pit №1


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 14:44:26
Pit №1


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 14:44:54
Pit №1


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 14:45:16
Pit №1


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 14:46:40
Pit №1


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 14:49:18
Pit №1


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 14:50:04
Pit №1


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 14:54:10
Pit №1


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 14:54:22
Pit №1


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 14:54:40
Pit №1


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 14:57:48
Pit №1


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 14:59:38
Pit №1


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 15:00:36
Pit №1


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 15:01:20
Pit №1


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 15:02:20
Pit №1


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 15:04:06
Pit №1


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 15:04:16
Pit №1

After that we went to the Information Centre, where indeed the elderly finder of the Terracotta Army was seated, signing books; so we bought one, a copy of the same one that Anne had been showing to us, and queued to get its title page signed.


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 15:31:16
“Information Centre”


Sunday 22 June 2014
Book bought in the Information Centre


Sunday 22 June 2014
Title page of the book bought in the Information Centre, signed by one of the finders of the Terracotta Army

In the central courtyard of the Information Centre was a garden with a pool and dragon-fountains, and tables with umbrellas. Near the door to the courtyard was a counter selling refreshments, with bottled drinks available in a tall refrigerator. The Tsing Tao that I had was the first that was “regular” strength, something like 4.3% a.b.v.; all that I’d had till then had had lower alcohol content.


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 15:41:50
Full strength Tsing Tao in the Information Centre courtyard


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 15:42:40
The pond in the Information Centre courtyard

The next visit was to the building housing Pit №2, a more ornate structure than the merely “functional” Pit №1, though I didn’t find the excavated area itself as interesting. Chief area of interest to me was a room of exhibits mounted (i.e. “reassembled, and supported with stays”, not “sitting on horses”) in glass cases.


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 15:58:24
Approaching the building housing Pit №2


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:07:36
Pit №2


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:08:48
Pit №2


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:09:18
Pit №2


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:11:24
Exhibition in the Pit №2 building: “Standing Archer”


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:12:16
Exhibition in the Pit №2 building: “Cavalryman with his Saddled War-Horse”


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:12:56
Exhibition in the Pit №2 building: “Cavalryman with his Saddled War-Horse”


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:13:18
Exhibition in the Pit №2 building: “Cavalryman with his Saddled War-Horse”

The High Ranking Officer had his “general belly”, as Anne had said.


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:15:02
Exhibition in the Pit №2 building: “High Ranking Officer”


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:14:20
Exhibition in the Pit №2 building: “High Ranking Officer”


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:15:22
Exhibition in the Pit №2 building: “High Ranking Officer”


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:15:34
Exhibition in the Pit №2 building: “High Ranking Officer”

The Middle Ranking Officer was not nearly so well-fed.


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:16:26
Exhibition in the Pit №2 building: “Middle Ranking Officer”


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:16:50
Exhibition in the Pit №2 building: “Middle Ranking Officer”


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:18:04
Exhibition in the Pit №2 building: “Kneeling Archer”


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:18:34
Exhibition in the Pit №2 building: “Kneeling Archer”


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:18:48
Exhibition in the Pit №2 building: “Kneeling Archer”


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:19:06
Exhibition in the Pit №2 building: “Kneeling Archer”


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:19:42
Exhibition in the Pit №2 building: “Kneeling Archer”


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:19:50
Exhibition in the Pit №2 building: “Kneeling Archer”


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:21:52
Pit №2


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:22:08
Pit №2


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:23:34
Pit №2


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:28:18
Pit №2

The way to Pit №3 was out of the rear door of Pit №2 and through a garden. Part of Pit №3 represented a kind of headquarters where the figures were standing facing each other, not in multitudinous ranks as in Pit №1.


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:30:08
Approaching the building housing Pit №3


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:31:50
Pit №3


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:32:52
Pit №3


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:34:26
Pit №3


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:35:22
Pit №3


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:35:46
Pit №3


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:36:54
Pit №3


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:37:40
Pit №3

We retraced our steps through the garden and passed back through the Pit №2 building, heading across to the Multiple Exhibition Building. Here most notably were two bronze chariots, horses and their driver, found in another pit — not Pits 1, 2 and 3 — and half-scale, not full-size as the terracotta figures were.


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:38:50
Back through the Pit №2 building


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:43:18


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:43:38
“The Multiple Exhibition Building”


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:44:14
“The Multiple Exhibition Building”


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:46:02
“The Multiple Exhibition Building”: Restored Stone Armour Suit


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:46:30
“The Multiple Exhibition Building”: Charioteer


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:47:30
Exhibit in “The Multiple Exhibition Building”


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:50:08
“The Multiple Exhibition Building”: Bronze Chariot №1


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:50:50
“The Multiple Exhibition Building”: Bronze Chariot №1


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:51:20
“The Multiple Exhibition Building”: Bronze Chariot №1


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 17:06:20
“The Multiple Exhibition Building”: Bronze Chariot №1


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:51:50
“The Multiple Exhibition Building”: Bronze Chariot №2


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:52:12
“The Multiple Exhibition Building”: Bronze Chariot №2


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:52:54
“The Multiple Exhibition Building”: Bronze Chariot №2


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:53:34
“The Multiple Exhibition Building”: Bronze Chariot №2


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:55:14
“The Multiple Exhibition Building”: Bronze Chariot №2


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 16:55:32
“The Multiple Exhibition Building”: Bronze Chariot №2


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 17:25:38
Leaving the site

I told Anne how impressed I was with the Terracotta Army museum — not least because they sold full-strength Tsing Tao! We boarded the coach, went back into the city, and were taken to the Shaanxi Grand Opera House for a show: “Tang Dynasty Palace Music and Dances”. Those of us who had earlier opted to pay a little extra for the “dumpling banquet” were shown to tables just one row back from the stage. (I can’t remember how many servings of steamed dumplings there were: over ten. I know I felt stuffed afterwards. The dumplings were shaped according to their contents, e.g. those containing pork were shaped like pigs.)


Programme


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 18:37:00
Shaanxi Grand Opera House, Xi’an


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 18:37:26
Shaanxi Grand Opera House, Xi’an


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 18:39:20
Dumpling banquet


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 18:52:42
Guzheng music


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 18:54:24
Dumpling banquet


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 19:18:56
Dumpling banquet


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 19:28:08
Dumpling banquet


Sunday 22 June 2
014 — 20:03:40
Announcing in Chinese and in English each act of the “Tang Dynasty Palace Music and Dances”




Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:05:42


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:06:32


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:06:46


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:07:16


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:08:52




Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:12:00


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:12:28


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:12:38


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:12:46


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:12:52


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:13:06


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:14:46



“Panpipe solo”: not a “solo” exactly, or not throughout, for there were other instruments accompanying.


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:17:26


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:17:38


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:18:10


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:18:24


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:20:52


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:21:04




Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:24:26


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:25:48


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:25:52


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:27:42




Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:31:30


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:32:30


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:32:38


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:34:08




Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:37:04


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:37:14


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:37:46


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:37:40


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:38:06


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:41:26


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:43:24



The “trumpet solo” (actually, the instrument was double-reeded like an oboe) was similar to the one we saw in Chengdu, with multiple changes of instrument, interspersed with whistling, in quick succession. As with the “panpipe solo”, not a “solo” exactly.


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:44:32


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:44:46


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:44:58


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:45:12


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:45:50


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:47:14




Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:49:46


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:50:48


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:50:58


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:51:14


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:51:40


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:52:22


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:52:28




Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:56:18


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:56:48


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:56:54


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:57:06


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:58:56


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 20:59:20




Sunday 22 June 2014 — 21:02:12


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 21:02:14


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 21:04:10


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 21:04:50


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 21:05:10


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 21:05:20


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 21:05:48


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 21:06:06


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 21:08:42


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 21:10:02


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 21:10:10

Afterwards there were CDs and DVDs on sale in the foyer, and I bought one of the latter.


Sunday 22 June 2014 — 21:14:46

Then we were taken to the hotel, where we checked in. I was surprised to see that the TV was plugged into a UK-style power socket. The socket I plugged the computer into was a composite one which would accept Chinese plugs, and also UK ones without an adaptor. Sometime today I mislaid my white casual jacket — left it on a coach perhaps and forgot to pick it up. Anyway, I later realised that I no longer had it. Fortunately the weather was hot and I was unlikely to need it. Janet was a bit unhappy that there weren’t curtains in the room for privacy, but sliding doors with translucent panels; they made her feel shut in. Transferred today’s 154 photos and 4 videos from my camera to the WD Elements HDD (22:22–22:28). Janet had a shower, as is her wont evenings. Rotated those of today’s photos that needed it (22:54–23:06). Got ready for bed shortly after that.

[Monday 23 June 2014]



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