It took me 2 years but I finally managed to talk Leo in to coming to Xi'an with me to see the Terracotta Warriors.
We set off on Friday night from Beijing on the high speed train at 7pm. The temperature was still 36 degrees and I did wonder if I was going to melt before boarding.
Xi'an is 1072 kilometres from Beijing but going about 307kms per hour most of the way it only took us 4 & 1/2 hours.
Once on the train Leo started his research and let me in on a few facts:
* Farmers found the Terracotta Warriors in 1974 when they were digging a well.
* The Warriors are thought to be over 2200 years old.
* They depict the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China.
* No two soldiers are the same.
On the way Leo also found out that you need a ticket to get in and a lot of days the tickets sell out even though they allow 65,000 visitors a day.
I wouldn't have been surprised if we went all that way and missed out on a ticket but we did manage to get some.
We got to our Hotel at 1am and woke bright and early to try and beat the crowds to the Warriors.
There were three different pits to go through and walking in to look at the first pit I was absolutely blown away. There were so many soldiers and horses standing tall in the earth. How on earth did they manage to dig them out without damaging them?
We were there for quite some time before I realized I hadn't taken a photo, I was just mesmerized.
The detail on the soldiers was incredible.
Leo thought it was all pretty incredible as well but he also had his eye on something else.
I said, "These Warriors are totally amazing!"
Leo said, "F*%^K the Warriors, I want the shed, imagine the hay I could put in this bastard".
By the time we had seen enough the crowds were building and the heat was rising to the high 30's.
I truly wouldn't have been surprised if they had reached their 65,000 visitors for the day.
I was happy to get out of there and off we walked to get a taxi. On the way the doorman at our Hotel said the taxi would be 40 quai so we go up to a taxi and Leo says, "How much mate?"
The taxi driver says, "50".
Leo says, "Bugger that, too dear" and walks off.
The taxi driver chases us. Meanwhile I'm thinking I may melt on to this bitumen at any minute.
The taxi driver says, "45".
Leo says to me, "Do you want it?"
I say, "Yes, I want it" wondering how else he thought we were going to get back to the Hotel before we died of heat exhaustion.
We get in the taxi, cool down a bit and then Leo laughs and says, "You know we were arguing over $1 back there?"
I say, "I know, I was nearly going to ask you if you wanted a loan from me, I could have leant you a buck".
Back at the Hotel we chilled out and stood out a bit, not just because we were westerners but because we wore clothes. Like in a lot of Hotel rooms there are robes in the wardrobe. They even had a mini one for the child and shoes for each family member. Most people got around in the Hotel wearing these robes and shoes, even in the restaurant.
Sunday it was time to head back to Beijing.
I'm thrilled to have seen the Terracotta Warriors which are sometimes called The 8th Wonder of the World, and rightly so I believe.