After our flights last night, we checked into the Tianyu Fields Hotel in Xi’an. The rooms are gorgeous and everyone has been impressed with the great service (from the breakfast to lending out umbrellas). This is no doubt one of the best hotels we have stayed in since arriving in China.
Today, we started with a wonderful breakfast with both eastern- and western- styled food. The cuisine spanned fried spring rolls, fried noodles, eggs, bread (station), cereals, various kinds of congee, and more.
At 8:30 AM, we took the buses to the Terracotta Warriors. Zoe, Bus C’s tour guide, gave us great lessons about the history of Xi’an and the Terracotta Warriors. Xi’an is known as a living history book, as it records the great changes of the country, and stems from the name Chang’an, which means the Eternal City. In addition, there are many universities that attract students to the ancient city. Despite the population of 8 million, the city is considered a middle-sized city. The origin of the Terracotta Warriors is actually mysterious and uncertain. It is said that the warriors came from the Qin Dynasty (not to be confused with the Qing Dynasty), which spanned just 15 years, simply because of the tomb’s location. Excavation is a long, tedious process, and still continues on today. At the Terracotta Museum, there were many vendors for replica soldiers, but only one official store contained genuine sculptures. The orchestra was also given a half-price deal and an opportunity to buy a new, limited-edition book.
After a group lunch at the museum, the kids prepared for their concert at the Xi’an Concert Hall. The orchestra rehearsed for an hour and delivered a fantastic performance. Initially, the Concert Hall personnel requested just two encore pieces, but the crowd responded so positively that the kids ended up playing four encore pieces. One of the encore pieces conducted by Karen Young. Brent He gave an excellent introduction in Chinese. The last encore piece was Carmen Suite. The audience clapped with the music under Mr. G’s conducting. The audience and the musicians enjoyed very much. The crowd was one of the most quiet, respective audiences during the three concerts.
On a closing note, we have returned to the Tianyu Fields Hotel, where we can grab good rest and recover from the long day. Tomorrow, we will be riding trains to Beijing, our final destination city. It is unbelievable that the tour is already halfway finished, but the kids will still be able to bond more and perform surreal music.– Li Jen Lee, Chen-Ya Lee; GDYO Chaperones