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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.
I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps. See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Monday, 31 December 2007

First Emperor's warriors

Pete, Nicola, Lola, 9, and Nell, 6, spent three happy months during summer of 2007 traveling around Britain. Now we’re home, but the travel bug is still there. Join us for the occasional sightseeing plus tips on how to shrink your carbon footprint. This post is from Nicola

The terracotta army of 7,000 bigger than life size warriors that was built to guard their meglamaniac boss in the afterlife is an obvious wonder of the world.

It’s younger than the Pyramids and Stonehenge, but older than the Colosseum, Hadrian’s Wall or the Mayan pyramids in Mexico. The show at the British Museum is constantly sold out but after getting on an email alert list I managed to acquire tickets for a new year’s eve eve slot (and as it runs until 6 April 2008 there must be a chance to go). Unfortunately Nell didn't appreciate this show was so special, so I had to go around it too fast, but we still managed to get to know some of the figures, and think about how they would have looked painted. We also enjoyed the seated figures (musicians) entertaining the cranes and other bird life on the artificial river.

I know a few 13 year olds – lovely as they are they also like sleeping and Facebook more than running a war machine - so it is even more of a mystery how the young Emperor managed to boss everyone around, keep winning battles and not get assassinated. He died of natural causes when he was 49, a very distinguished age for the time especially as he was constantly at war with the neighbouring states.

The Emperor is the architect of modern China but his legacy to the world has been a mix of wonder – at these figures only relatively recently dug from a farmer’s field – and suspense because the main tomb will not be excavated until technology can do it with the least harm. And that, apparently, is not in our lifetimes. The best we can do is go and see this amazing taster of what is already excavated in China and simply enjoy the unique details – from beard and hair styles to clothing - on everyone.

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