Before leaving the Terra Cotta Soldiers, one must visit the Provincial Shaanxi History Museum nearby. It gives visitors a timeline of Chinese civilization from homo erectus to modern China. But, the real reason to visit the museum is for their fabulous noodle lunch. I’m not kidding. In fact watching them make the noodles is almost better than eating them.
The long noodles are made by a strong young man who grabs this huge rectangular hunk of dough, separates it in the middle forming a dough circle, and then he stretches and stretches and stretches the dough until it’s about four feet long and it suddenly breaks into noodles. Then he plops the whole mass into a boiling pot of broth. It defies reason. The guy was mobbed and one could barely get close enough to get a picture as you jostle in line to get your food.
Flat noodles are made by another strong fellow. He begins with a roll about twice this size in diameter and rapidly slices noodles off with a special tool directly into a pot of boiling broth.
The other best reason to visit, in my opinion, was their exquisite ceramics. The facial expression of the driver and the posture of the camel-so realistic. (Click to enlarge pictures.)
In this glazed piece, the accoutrements and the horse’s hooves are particularly stunning.
Only in China would you find a dragon handled pot. I took 19 photos and uploaded them at: https://picasaweb.google.com/106530979158681190260/200610XianPottery
After lunch we visited the Small Wildgoose Pagoda.
This small, plain Pagoda survives from the Tang Dynasty. The monks studied and copied manuscripts here. One monk walked them all the way from India. A monk here was starving. (They are not allowed to ask for food.) A wild goose flew into the pagoda and couldn’t get out. When it died, he ate it. Thus the name. A Pagoda serves as a temple. The grounds are very spacious and we saw people meeting here, and exercising here. Many shops line the area selling home crafted paintings, jade, glasswork and beads. Rings to tether horses are seen about the place from the old times.
Typical of China, the public areas are beautiful and very useful for multiple functions.
In this complex is a beautiful bell. We all took a turn trying to push the heavy timber to ring the bell. It barely made a sound. It takes about ten strong men to make it ring. It was used to send messages high up into the mountains and surrounding forests.
We left the grounds and visited a Jade factory.
The jade was beautiful, but we couldn’t help but notice the workers uncomfortable working conditions.
Lunch was 23 different dumplings cooked in this hot pot. Meals are typically served at these round tables with a turntable in the middle where dishes are shared around the group. Dinner at our hotel was a special Thai meal of two curries, fruits, meats, stir fry and bread pudding. We were so full we couldn’t do our dinner justice.
For more information about the Wildgoose Pagoda click the link: http://www.china.org.cn/english/TR-e/43175.htm