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Beijing: It is good to be the emperor

Beijing Travel Blog

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Lion head holding the handles of the water caldron. this was near the doors: these were always kept full for fire suppression.....

MAY 3, 2007   There is an incredible amount of building going on in Beijing.  they are mowing down huge blocks and blocks of land for the Olympics.     A lot of historic buildings and homes are being sacrificed... apparently the people who lived there were paid well for the homes and when the Olympics are over they will get a discounted price for the apartments that are being built for the athletes, news media & support staff..... the stadium for the Olympics is called the bird nest and look just like one.... a tangled mess of huge tubes.  it seems like China is not very impressed with their very wonderful historical buildings . ...  they were also looted and compromised during the cultural revolution.

this is so clever using water as part of the decoration..
 

Today we had a tour of a silk carpet factory... (part of organized tours is the forced visits to factories and shopping areas.... very annoying to spend the hours looking at things you are not interested in....) Anyway...back to the silk carpet place.... the prices were absolutely scary...   what a waste of time.  There were probably two sales persons per tourist...  If you paused to look at something they rushed over as though you were fumbling for your credit card.  It was too bad they were so enthused about helping us as it took the wind out of our sails (and their sales)  being pushed and hurried to "make" a decision.   And at those prices!!  There was no temptation for me..... yikes.  AND to add insult to injury: no pictures were allowed...that was annoying.
peony: carved: on wall as decoration
... like I was going to rush home and set down at my loom and recreate what we saw.... In the back they had pictures that were embroidered .... Stunning to see... they looked painted but were millions of threads .... hmmmm Wish I had a photograph to illustrate ....  

We went to Tienanmen square and  looked around.  It is made for 1/2 million  people to congregate.  It was very large and many families were there enjoying the history of the place.  The Mao tomb was closed .  I was bummed as I had really wanted to go in:  it will be open again for the Olympics.  We took pictures and tried to take it all in.   All of the public places in China are very very large due to the number of population utilizing them.

Then we went to the Forbidden City.

close up of the lion: His eyes appear to be amber....they shined in the sun...
    wow.  I will bet I took 100 pictures.    It was HUGE.    We saw the inner part and it was miles of walking. part of it is in scaffolding.   but most was already redone and it was beautiful.  The painted beams are unbelievable.  So perfect.  The buildings are all so far apart.  It appeared there were 3 different areas.  Each was deeper into the city and was more private for the emperor.  We looked into the bedrooms and we were shocked at how tiny they were.  We had to move right along with our guide.  I hate that.
This is part of the imperial palaces near imperial city: you go from the t-square area under the underpass to the imperial /forbidden city. .... after you say no a million times to the vendors....
... but on the other hand, left to my own devices I would never get past the first gate.  The gates have the imperial number 9: nine knobs on the doors going across and 9 up and down....  very cool. 

   It was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasty.  (it should be noted that the Chinese do not say forbidden city: they say imperial palace or palace museum)  It has over 800 buildings and more than 8000 rooms.  I think we covered just a fraction of them.    I want to add that I was in awe of how huge it all was....  I looked at pictures before but it was so immense..... and so beautiful in detail when you got into the rooms.
  

traveller142009 says:
I certainly can identify with those forced stops to see how things are made and being pressured into buying these goods at such outrageous prices just because you give a compliment or asked a question!
Posted on: Oct 13, 2011
bernard69 says:
seeing again yr pics is a pleasure:)
Posted on: Feb 26, 2010
mskaye says:
Hi, Sylvia, your photo of the urn almost looks like mine when I first visited China 2005. Quite an adventure for me too, I with tour group of senior citizens (pardon) for a six week tour in China. My parents and my dad's brother who brought along his GF made us the younger of the group, although I was a few years older than GF.

Imagine six weeks with the same people... ugh. Nevertheless, my hotel mate was a wonderful elderly woman and we gotten along great!

Have an exciting time when you visit Chengdu!
Posted on: Feb 26, 2010
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Lion head holding the handles of t…
Lion head holding the handles of …
this is so clever using water as p…
this is so clever using water as …
peony: carved: on wall as decorati…
peony: carved: on wall as decorat…
close up of the lion: His eyes app…
close up of the lion: His eyes ap…
This is part of the imperial palac…
This is part of the imperial pala…
outside of the forbidden city look…
outside of the forbidden city loo…
Obviously, I am thrilled to be in …
Obviously, I am thrilled to be in…
Maos portrait above the imperial …
Mao's portrait above the imperial…
David and I at Tiananmen. it was n…
David and I at Tiananmen. it was …
David and I near Tiananmen
David and I near Tiananmen
Looking across the street at T-Squ…
Looking across the street at T-Sq…
families enjoying the square... We…
families enjoying the square... W…
symetrical and organized
symetrical and organized
buildings in the Imperial city
buildings in the Imperial city
A really cool dragon on the T-squa…
A really cool dragon on the T-squ…
These cool little figures were on …
These cool little figures were on…
imperial building details
imperial building details
Isnt this beautiful!  I just abou…
Isn't this beautiful! I just abo…
imperial buildings....  we could p…
imperial buildings.... we could …
trying to show how absolutely huge…
trying to show how absolutely hug…
the beams were so amazing... many …
the beams were so amazing... many…
dragons carved on the pillars...
dragons carved on the pillars...
Large water caldron by the imperia…
Large water caldron by the imperi…
People threw money into the big wa…
People threw money into the big w…
large marble carving...200 tons ..…
large marble carving...200 tons .…
carved marble: it was between two …
carved marble: it was between two…
carved stone: 3.07 wide: 1.7 thick…
carved stone: 3.07 wide: 1.7 thic…
detail of the marble... beautiful …
detail of the marble... beautiful…
large marble carving: original was…
large marble carving: original wa…
view of the marble carving and sta…
view of the marble carving and st…
light in one of the imperial rooms
light in one of the imperial rooms
imperial bedroom.  so small
imperial bedroom. so small
imperial doors
imperial doors
coverings
coverings
this was a window covering by the …
this was a window covering by the…
Sylvia with one of the wall carvin…
Sylvia with one of the wall carvi…
lily pad aquatic animals on wall i…
lily pad aquatic animals on wall …
forbidden city: bench with wall an…
forbidden city: bench with wall a…
another beautiful wall
another beautiful wall
one of the many nooks and crannys …
one of the many nooks and crannys…
roof: I always look up
roof: I always look up
lantern by a neat wall: it must be…
lantern by a neat wall: it must b…
imperial lion/dog/dragon thing: ve…
imperial lion/dog/dragon thing: v…
close up
close up
incense burner?
incense burner?
imperial bedroom: neat colors.
imperial bedroom: neat colors.
pretend bamboo on the roofs
pretend bamboo on the roofs
more of the little guardian animals
more of the little guardian animals
One of the buildings near the gard…
One of the buildings near the gar…
another little alcove: see Dave in…
another little alcove: see Dave i…
forbidden city buildings
forbidden city buildings
roof line
roof line
the rock gardens:
the rock gardens:
Dave Anderson talking to kids.... …
Dave Anderson talking to kids....…
a large pot with carvings on the s…
a large pot with carvings on the …
another side to the rose quartz po…
another side to the rose quartz p…
david next to the rose quartz pot
david next to the rose quartz pot
the rock gardens;
the rock gardens;
to create the rock gardens they pu…
to create the rock gardens they p…
lantern or incense burner
lantern or incense burner
really cool bronze lion
really cool bronze lion
front view:  it was so neat... it…
front view: it was so neat... it…
looking across the courtyard: it w…
looking across the courtyard: it …
I have no idea what this was... wa…
I have no idea what this was... w…
another view off the ramp and acro…
another view off the ramp and acr…
out in the main yard of imperial c…
out in the main yard of imperial …
Vivian: our hard working guide hol…
Vivian: our hard working guide ho…
inside the imperial city
inside the imperial city
inside...amazing and huge
inside...amazing and huge
looking over the many roofs
looking over the many roofs
dave, kathy and sylvia: this was n…
dave, kathy and sylvia: this was …
dave, kathy and sylvia
dave, kathy and sylvia
looking across the forbidden city
looking across the forbidden city
looking back
looking back
inside... (drainage system? walkwa…
inside... (drainage system? walkw…
It was golden week (first week of …
It was golden week (first week of…
going towards the buildings
going towards the buildings
forbidden city looking into the ne…
forbidden city looking into the n…
forbidden city
forbidden city
forbidden city roof line
forbidden city roof line
details of the roof
details of the roof
T-square ...  tomb
T-square ... tomb
looking across at the square & mon…
looking across at the square & mo…
beautiful symbols of Chinese Govt.
beautiful symbols of Chinese Govt.
entrance
entrance
One lone guy standing in center an…
One lone guy standing in center a…
We walked left side of this center…
We walked left side of this cente…
looking towards buildings above th…
looking towards buildings above t…
Dave Anderson (blue hat) & Kathy a…
Dave Anderson (blue hat) & Kathy …
walkways
walkways
Beijing
photo by: Deats