To make sure that we didn’t forget about home, it was a bit rainy in Chengdu on Saturday. This was possibly something to do with me telling people back home about how great the weather has been and how it’s been shorts and t shirt weather most days.
When I read the news websites back home and saw the rubbish weather reports, I’m not gonna lie, I did have a wee laugh to myself. Then karma struck and we ended up out in the rain as well.
Oh well, not to worry, there was a metro station fairly close to the museum that we decided to visit – we didn’t get the metro though, we walked.
Now and again, Audrey needs to be reminded that 2 inches on a map can mean an hour or two walking time.
Eventually though, we found our way to the museum. There was another one closer to our accommodation but the reviews for the Sichuan museum were better and it was also free to enter – if you showed a valid form of ID.
So, off we went with our passports, umbrellas (yes, I have one as well, it’s light blue and looks terrible). I didn’t feel so bad when I saw a guy wandering along with a pink umbrella just as we left the hostel.
So, the museum itself. It has various interesting displays. There was a section about Chinese pottery, Chinese calligraphy, a Chinese artist (I’ve forgotten his name though) along with a collection of some of his works.
There was also a section on Tibetan Buddhism. I don’t know enough about Buddhism to know what the difference is between Tibetan Buddhism and other types but the displays were nice to look at.
At one section of the museum, the part that ended up being the highlight of the trip, there was a section about Chinese pottery and stone.
It doesn’t sound particlarly interesting but as we entered this section of the museum, a gentleman approached us and offered to show us around this section.
I don’t know who he was – but he said there was no charge for the tour so we got into a free museum and a free tour (I feel like ‘Tam’ from ‘Still Game’ here but it was good).
He was able to point out various things and give additional info on some of the displays which were very interesting. For example, he was showing how 2 different displays in the museum were linked to one another. He was able to tell us how the different wheel sizes indicated different things.
A larger wheel on a chariot pulled by a horse indicated that the chariot would be moving more slowly and smoothly than one with a smaller wheel. As such this would perhaps be used for transporting an emporers wife and children around.
Converesly, a smaller wheel could be used for a carriage which may be involved in a race or even for going into a battle.
All in, the section took about an hour or to go round and we were greatful to this man for giving up his time. We never caught his name but it’s ‘one off’ type things like this that you tend to remember when you are away and I think hearing info from a person instead of just reading a display probably means that it is more likely to stick in our minds.
I’m not sure yet if it will be required at any point but if you ever win a pub quiz with questions based on chariot wheel sizes, you know where you heard the info.