“I liked the scorpion. I would eat that again,” he said.
After the conference, Donoghue was part of a group that traveled 12 hours by sleeper train to Xi’an for additional tours. That was his first chance to connect with Facebook and talk to his parents, Karen and John Donoghue Jr.
His group first went to the City Wall, a 8.5-mile-long structure surrounded by a deep moat.
He later learned some Chinese calligraphy at the Tang Dynasty Art Museum, followed by an all-you-can-eat dumpling dinner and Tang Palace Dance Show.
The show told the story of an emperor who ordered his chef to make 300 types of dumplings for the empress, each in the shape of the animal from which the filling was made.
Donoghue said their dumplings were flavored with soy sauce, vinegar and garlic.
“It was the best dinner we had there,” he said.
TERRA COTTA WARRIORS
The next day, Donoghue visited the Museum of Qin Terra Cotta Warrior and Horses. Dating back to before 210 B.C., the site was discovered in 1974.
Excavation has unearthed thousands of life-sized warrior and horses in battle formations. Work on the site continues to this day.
“It was pretty amazing, seeing this huge field with all those soldiers there,” he said.
The final day in Xi’an, they watched children practice at a Kung Fu palace. Donoghue even had a personal practice with an 8-year-old boy.
“They could kill me with a finger. It was jaw dropping to watch them do this,” he said.
They then traveled by high-speed rail back to Beijing and boarded the plane for home.
Donoghue said it was the trip of a lifetime.
“It’s definitely something I will remember forever.”
Email Dan Heath:firstname.lastname@example.org