SO thanks for following along here on this virtual trip with me – it’s fun to go through edit down and revisit places this way, and I hope you;re enjoying it as well.
We took a 5.5 hour bullet train from Shanghai to Beijing. And the rumors about pollution are all true. Get this- we were going about 187 miles an hour on the train and for a full FOUR hours the view outside the window looked like yellow fog. But it was pollution. It’s really kinda gross and sad the conditions all these folks live in. Even more ironic was that since the APEC Summit was going on and Putin and Obama just to name a few were in town, they shut down the factories and gave out train tickets so residents would either leave town or not drive. Because of that the air cleared up to a bright blue as you can see. So it was lucky for us, but really kind of weird if you stop and think about it.
I have to say , The Forbidden City is one of those places you ‘see on TV’ but at least for me, evener ever thought id see in person! So walking up with our tour guide was slightly surreal to be honest.
They have apparently done quit a bit of renovation of many of the structures, and you could really see the ones that have been fussed with and the ones NOT!
I was really fascinated by all the rooflines and detaining. Also, the sheer scope of this place is hard to take in. Many structures had only a single use, such as a bedroom, wedding room, or place to simply sign paperwork, from which the Emperor was CARRIED to and from.
OK, ok–I kinda really liked these dragons!
Some detailed relief stone work between stair cases
That building you see in the distance is the highest- not because of a natural land formation, but because all of the excavated earth was piled up to form a man-made hill.
I’m getting a setup like this to greet wedding couples from now on. Subtle and welcoming, no?
Those large stones with the holes (I forget the type or name!) were, at the time, hard to come by and considered an object of value.
That’s our guide on the left who really helped make things clearer!
Check out that super-tiny car like 12 inches from a bus zipping by–YIKES!
Later that day – we continued on to the Summer Palace, considered ‘a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design’ it’s over 700 acres in size.
This part known as The Long Corridor contains over 14,000 individual paintings and is in the Guinness Book of World records as the Worlds longest covered corridor.
Trying desperately here to get the sun to peek through at JUST the right spot!
This huge boat made of marble, surprisingly known as ‘The Marble Boat’, just sits there and look pretty.
And finally for today, here are some uber giant tips of instant Ramen in the gift shop.
Stay tuned for The Great Wall ( very cool ), the Tokyo Fish Market and of course – Robot Restaurant.