Monday, August 10, 2009

Blog Beijing Continues!

Let's see if blogger will cooperate eh?Why yes, I did line up with an obscene number of people through the Gate of Heavenly Peace, under Mao's nose (the IRONY people, the IRONY) to enter the Forbidden City. I have to admit, I'm glad I did the touristy thing and paid for the audio tour (which is equipped with a light up map and shows you where you are and where you've been already). It is overwhelmingly large and stunning and I wanted to know more than the little signs tell you. The only downside of my day here (and it did take most of a day to explore) was how hot and humid it was. I kept drinking water and couldn't seem to stay hydrated. Alternating bottles of waters with fruit juice helped (discovered by observing Chinese tourists). I couldn't get over the number of people there. If you ever get a chance to visit Beijing, go during an odd month like November or something. On the other hand, it was great for people watching during water breaks and 'dear god I spot some shade' breaks.

I loved the architectural details. I don't know much about it but it certainly has a sense of balance and austerity. The restoration work on the ceilings and roof work was also phenomenal.These little guys help keep away evil spirits and such.
I love the lions. I took a silly number of pictures of lions at every palace and temple I went to. Ah the joys of digital cameras, I can just edit them out!
I also took a ridiculous number of pictures of doors, more specifically door knobs and knockers. Obviously my fascination is in the blood, long live Karpen Steel Products.
My third photography obsession, ceilings. I love how they painted all of the exposed beams.See those giant bucket/pot things in front of the wall? Each of those weighs around a ton and was filled with water in the advent of a fire. Fires were lit under them in the winter to keep the water from freezing.

Some lovely art.

Thus concludes Day 3 (or 2.5, however you want to look at it). Coming up next: The Summer Palace! How the royalty avoided being in the Forbidden City on a sweltering day like the one I visited on. I'm really glad nothing is going on in my life right now that is blog worthy so I can take my sweet time getting these pictures up. For a 1 week trip I really did take a ridiculous amount of photos. My new camera--so worth it.


Nancy K said...

Gorgeous! I avidly await your continued posts.

Rachel said...

I have Unicef note cards with pictures of doors / and door knockers from different areas of the world. And, there is a card with Red Doors and Lions that looks almost identical to your picture. But, it is from Shanghai (had to go and look). Thanks for the pictures and the blog.

Speaking of blogging, and food, you need to go see Julie and Julia. We loved the movie. Nancy K -- I think you will also like this movie. Make sure to plan a good meal afterwards, as you will be starving.

Josh said...

Super-sweet-picture-filled awesomeness!

Alex said...

Aunt Rachel, did Grams (your mom) give you those cards? I feel like we might also have had them in NY....

Yes, Julie and Julia was recommended by another blog I read but I'm not sure if it's out in Korea yet.

Everyone-will try to post again soon.