We started out with the hotels breakfast buffet, which is amazing by the way, and then loaded up for sight seeing. First up, Tiananimen Square (sorry if I mis-spelled). Pretty cool, huge. This is where all the students were killed back in 1989. No exact number on how many students, but at least 1,000. Apparently people still come there to protest things. There are guards all the time, and around them are fire extinguishers. I guess someone has lit themselves on fire before....crazy!
Here is the Congress building, seriously huge.
Then we saw the Forbidden City. This really was pretty amazing. Very big! I think there were 6 palaces total, they've been rebuilt multiple times because of lightening strikes. Seemed appropriate that we had watched Mulan the night before! ;-) Every now and then I felt the presence of Karate Kid and Kung Fu Panda!
We had a Karate Kid moment for Logan to see, hoping he'll remember this part of the movie (especially since he made us watch it a million times!). You are supposed to rub this for good luck.
The architecture really was amazing. The ceilings, the Emporers thrones...details were so impressive! I took more pictures with our actual camera so I'll have more to share once we get home, but here's what I've got for now.
At the end of the Forbidden City is the Imperial Gardens. Even with everything being dead from winter, it was beautiful. Rocks and trees that were so old, and huge! Very cool to see! I wish we were here during the spring or summer so that we could see it's entire beauty. This first picture is where the Emporer would climb up to watch the moon during the Moon Festival.
The outside of the city is surrounded by a moat, it's pretty intimidating.
Also outside the gates were vendors swarming trying to get you to buy random trinkets, hats, books, toys, cherries glazed with sugar...on a stick...
We had another amazing lunch, which I ate too much of. Shocker! There was also duck, not quite as tasty. And honestly, they brought out the head and everything on the plate! Bleh! Next up a silk factory. Beautiful clothing, bedspreads, very cool to see how they make it all.
This evening our guide left us and we decided to venture out to a local grocery store and flea market type place. Crazy what you can find!
$45 US for this bag of pistachios! I love me some pistachios, but not that much!
The view from our journey out. We were pretty proud of ourselves, crossed the big street with no guide! :-)
So it's 7pm here, Sage is snoring away, I'm attempting to stay up until at least 9 so that maybe I'll sleep longer than 3am! We are packing up and heading to the airport in the morning. Heading to Guangzhou! Meeting Haylie in less than 48hrs!!!!! Besides my excitement for that, I am beyond excited to get away from this cold environment! Brrrr, I can't handle much more of these temps and the wind!
Hope you all enjoy your weekend, I'll be back tomorrow! I'll leave you with just a few random Beijing photos.
This Santa face is everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE. All stores, multiple along the walls inside the stores. Weird for a country that doesn't practice Christianity! Our guide says that they so actually celebrate Christmas, the younger Chinese people, but not the same as we do.