As you probably remember from the OG Terracotta Warriors post, this huge statuary army is some A-level grave robbing. Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China, ordered all of these figures - warriors, chariots, horses - to be built and buried with him in a huge secret underground city of a grave in order to protect him in the afterlife. Wasn't HE surprised! Work on the army began when the wee emperor was only 13 years old, in 246 BCE, so they're hella old, and there's hella lots of them - approximately 8,000 soldiers were buried with the emperor. Eventually, 700,000 workers were involved with this project in some capacity.
It's smart of him to think of plants and herbs to do the trick too, since mercury probably wasn't so fun to eat, and I absolutely adore the idea of him sending out a crack team of his 'trusted magician' plus THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN to find some magic plants on secret beautiful islands. Um, WHY the children? What on earth was his thought process? Besides the obvious "oh i'm so forked up on mercury rn." Was he like, oh the spirits of the hidden islands probably won't show their magical lands to anyone but innocent children, so let's round up thousands and send them into the sea. I GUARANTEE that that magician, if he was worth his salt, took the kids and found an island refuge and was like 'we are NEVER going back to that lunatic, he will kill us all at some point.' "Sadly they never return" = "thank god Xu Fu decided to save those kids."
And lastly, hoo boy, HOW MANY MAGICIANS DID THIS GUY HAVE? I guess if he had 3,000 spare kids to send off on an island-finding adventure, he had more than his fair share of magicians to send hither and thither looking for, ostensibly, weed, but I just love that all these signs kept referring to more and more of his endless supply of magicians. I mean, someone holler at this boy that if sooo many people are claiming to be magicians, it's just math that some of them are lying. But my favorite part is that he and the fam sought immortality so hard that they tried to ensure it even after they died. 'Oh let's put these symbols of immortal beings in our tombs for when we die so maybe they will grant us immortality.' Guys, did noooo one hear themselves?
Next, more Beatles.
We learned a good deal about each of the men (and Yoko too), especially Paul and John since they were the starriest of them. John's activism was pretty weird. There were lots of pictures of him and Yoko sitting in bed with paper bags over their heads. Not really sure what they were going for but it was anti-war, which is good. My favorite bit of information is that Paul now owns a publishing company, MPL Communications, and they own the rights to Grease, A Chorus Line, and Guys & Dolls. I think it is hilarious that little community theatres putting on these shows are paying Paul McCartney.
As a final stop on our Beatles Tour of Liverpool, we drove down Penny Lane. Yes it's an actual road they wrote the song about. It's nowhere close to the city center, however. We saw a few black cabs bringing tourists over here to take their pictures, which is probably the easiest option for visitors. There were also giant tour buses but they can't actually make the turn onto the narrow road. We had the good fortune of being driven down the lane by our friend's parents. (Thanks again!)
While it was a still functioning church, it was also intended to be used as a venue for ceremonial worship and as a concert venue. I bet whoever set those original usage restrictions had no idea what would happen in 2018:
Here are pictures of the Three Graces with the Four Beatles in front.
As you can see, even just 24 hours in Liverpool can be full of lots of fun, lots of arts, lots of culture ('that's Petah Tikva!'), and reminders of your nightmares. I would not be opposed to returning to this great city, even though I was there on a Saturday night in the summertime - which means I saw no less than FIFTY suuuuper drunken hen dos (bachelorette parties) with brides-to-be in bright pink sashes in like a 3-block radius. They really pack in the hen dos in this town, jee oh boy. We also saw a few of the stereotypical stag dos (bachelor parties), where they make the groom-to-be dress like a baby and walk around town in a giant diaper. If I can get through that and be happy to return, that must mean it's a pretty cool city.
It also had some incredible vegan food; I was shocked at the number of signs in restaurant windows I saw advertising their vegan options. You can read about our fancy lunch at the Art School here, and here for a look at the best dinner ever (, one of).