Day One in the City

March 22, 2013

A wander through Tiananmen Square, the largest public meeting space in the world followed by a walk through the Forbidden City took all of the morning.  Fortunately a big breakfast at the hotel kept us going  until our noodle lunch.   Emperors, eunuchs, concubines, and other invited guests inhabited the Forbidden City from the time of its construction in the fourteen hundreds until well into the  20th century.  We strolled down the white marble path through the middle of the city, a path once  reserved for only those men carrying the  emperor’s sedan.  We poked our heads into the royal halls– Supreme Harmony, Middle Harmony, Earthly Tranquility, and believe it or not, Eternal Abstinance, and many others. There was much that gave us pause, from the incredibly long line of people waiting to see Chairman Mao lying in state in the mausoleum on Tiananmen  Square to the sheer magnitude of the space and buildings in the city.  On top of everything else we had a sunny day, which was a relief after yesterday’s smoggy trip into Beijing from the airport.












The afternoon  was a chance to see the city from on high.  We climbed Jingshan, a mountain built from the dirt dug to create the various nearby moats and lakes. The mountain was built to keep the linearly traveling bad spirits coming from the north away from the Forbidden City.  Let this be a Feng Shui lesson for all of us– a small mountain or at the very least a dragon screen properly oriented will keep those evil spirits away!









A scavenger hunt in Beihai Park was the last event before dinner.  We finished at the nine dragon screen, which  actually has 635 dragons of various sizes on it (question # 5 on the scavenger hunt). A quick trip back to the hotel by subway was much appreciated after many hours of walking.

We finished the day with a  delicious dumpling dinner followed by some shopping on the way back to the hotel.  A good day had by all! Tomorrow we head off north to walk the Great Wall.


8 Responses

  1. Avatar Tracy Hiebert says:

    Love these shots..lots of smiles!

  2. Avatar Pamela Evans (Brooke's aunt) says:

    Hi Brooke, I love following what you are doing each day! Love you, Aunt Pam

  3. Avatar Mary Fessenden says:

    Love the bling boys! I look forward to the travel updates, keep smiling Brad! Love mom

  4. Avatar Monica Anderson says:

    Great shots! Can’t wait for more! Thanks for making us feel like part of the trip!!

  5. Avatar Scott Beckerman says:

    Hi Brooke! Hope youre having fun and learning lots! Great Wall tomorrow – how cool! Love you, Dad

  6. Avatar kathy bartlett says:

    Looks like you are all having a great time, Big Smiles, awesome sights!!
    Jessie that famous Smile of yours is the BEST!! Enjoy!!

  7. Avatar Lesley says:

    Hi ANi, Looks sunny and blue!! So many beautiful things to see. We miss you lots. Love, Mom and Dad

  8. Avatar Sue Wolf says:

    Looks amazing! Glad everyone is having a good time. Can’t wait to see pictures from the Great Wall. Enjoy!

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