Silk Road on the move – Xi’an, Tianshi & Xiahe
Silk Road crew had a very active week moving through a few difference places and exploring different cultures, cuisines and languages along the way.
Our first stop after orientation was the ancient capital of China – Xi’an, home to China’s first emperor’s tomb. There the group had an opportunity to take a close look at the Terracotta Warriors, learn about general Chinese history from the chronological exhibition at Shaanxi Provincial Museum, and they also had a great time exploring one of the oldest living Muslim quarters in China through a scavenger hunt. We were extremely lucky that it rained during our time in Xi’an, which brought the temperature right down to a comfortable 25 degrees Celsius.
After Xi’an, the group travelled on the high-speed train which connects many cities and towns of China now to our next destination – Tianshui. Rain seemed to be following the group wherever we went, but rain and mist had made the Maiji Mountain Grottoes, one of the most important Buddhist caves in China even more mysterious and majestic. We explored the Buddhist paintings and statues in various caves and Noam gave us a history of Buddhist art there.
We arrived in Xiahe last night after a day of travelling on bus and train from Tianshui. Located on the northeastern corner of the Tibetan plateau, Xiahe is home to Labrang Monastery, one of the most important Tibetan Buddhism Monasteries outside of the Tibetan autonomous region. In the morning, a few students woke up early and joined local Tibetans on their daily ritual of walking kora around the Monestary. It was such a beautiful way to start the day and experience a new way of life. Tomorrow the group will head to Sangke grassland for a homestay for 4 days, where we will be living with local nomadic Tibetans in their homes. We will not have access to internet for this period. We hope this rare opportunity of being away from modern technology will provide new insights on the definition of comfort, happiness and way of life for the group.
We will be in touch again when we come back to Xiahe after our homestay. Stay tuned for more adventures on the Silk Road.