The Forbidden City
How busy can a place possibly be?!? That's the first thing i thought when I saw the entrance tot the Forbidden City. It was crawling with people. Everywhere. When we entered the city it was just as crowded...i don't think i ever saw that many people in one place.
But back to the City. It is so amazingly huge (yes still, even after four years, it's awesome). The buildings are so tall and wide, the courtyards so big (and without trees because of the Emperors paranoia). The Forbidden city is build on 15 crossed layers laid in seven layers lengthwise and eight layers crosswise,
so no one could dig their way in.
Parts of the Forbidden City are already renovated, so you can see the beautiful bright colors it once was in.
Still the most impressive building is the Hall of Supreme Harmony, build on three marble layers which makes it the highest building in the Forbidden City. It is also a pretty sight to see all the yellow/golden roofs, as yellow is the color of the Emperor.
The City can be divided in two parts, one for the political/ceremonial part in the south, and the residence of the Emperor and his family in the north. First we visited the soutern part, with the Halls of Central and Preserving Harmony and the Hall of Supreme Harmony, and then we went on to the imperial residences. We saw the Emperors halls and courtyards, the houses where the concubines lived, and the courtyard and living quarters of the Empress.
From there on we went to lunch at a place in the Hutong area near the Drumtower, and after that we got a riksja tour through the Hutong.
The Drum Tower
A part also was recently renovated. The houses are getting a makeover if they're still in a good enough shape, if not, they're demolished and rebuild. We went to a little local supermarket for a bit of grocery shopping. Next was the Drumtower. The stairs are really really steep. Unfortunately we missed the drum ceremony, so we took a few nice pictures, it was so clear we even could see the Forbidden City :). After descending those scary stairs again, we moved on to the Olympic Stadium, the Birds nest. I never saw a stadium like that on the inside, so it was nice. But seeing my interest wasn't really big, i was done pretty quickly. We also walked along what used to be the Olympic Village, and the building for fencing and the Cube, where the swimming competitions were held.
After dinner in a Sichuan Restaurant (nice but sometimes spicy food), we went to the highlight that evening, the Flying Acorbatic Show.
One of many acrobatic acts
It was beautiful! The costumes, lights, colors, acts, it was all so pretty and perfect! How the colors of the costumes changed like a rainbow in the fist act, to the last one where they wore beautiful decorated costumes. A very impressive act was 15 people on one bike, all with feather fans, making it look like a gigantic pink/orange peacocktail on wheels. There were human pyramids, jumping through hoops...or two or three with backflips, and everything else you could thing of. It's a really entertaining enjoyable show.