We started off the day by visiting the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a very important Buddhist temple in Xi’an. As we approached the temple we noticed that the large pagoda was tilted slightly. We came to find out from our tour guide that thas begun to lean due to the over use of underground water near by. The temple exemplified classic Chinese architecture from the Tang dynasty, a time of cultural growth in China. At the end of our visit we were lucky enough to see some of the amazing artwork done by local artist and students.
As the day progressed we went to the old city, and saw the largest single structure still standing, the wall of Xi’an. The wall is about 15 meters across, spanning over 6 miles. Many of us chose to ride bikes on top of the wall, which was needless to say an amazing experience. Some students tried to go as fast as possible, Brandon Frank managed to get around the wall in 30 minutes.
After all of the excitement of the bike riding on top of an ancient wall in china, we figured it was time for a little rest and relaxation. Our last stop of the day was a dinner and theatrical performance. The meal consisted of 16 different types of dumplings, all of which were amazing. The performance had many interesting and diverse components, each of them direct examples of Tang dynasty entertainment. One of the most interesting pieces was known as “Harvesting Chinese Dates,” a trumpet solo. Much to our surprise there was an additional component to the act, a crazy form of vocal or trumpet beat boxing that I’m sure non of us had ever heard before.
All in all the day was jam packed with history and excitement. I have no doubts that everyone on the trip will remember everything we did today for years to come. It was very nice way to kick off our Xi’ an experience. – Alex & Anthony