Saturday, January 31, 2009

Beijing--Day 2--January 10

We were dropped off in Tianamen Square, sort of like China's uglier version of Russia's Red Square. Instead of Lenin's tomb, they have Mao's tomb, where his preservative-laden body is still on display. Ewww. Normally in China, people are cremated. Not sure why Mao wasn't, but ewww.
John, raising his hands to celebrate victory of the workers! Not.
After walking across the Square, you take an underground passage to the Forbidden City. It's really more of an underground bridge because the Chinese Convention and Visitor's Bureau knows that lots of tourists come to both places and they would never survive walking across a multi-lane street in Beijing (the tourists, not the CCVB).
After the Forbidden City, we went to the Temple of Heaven. I'll try and differentiate between the two sets of pictures, but the building style and painting is similar.

I think this is the beginning of the Temple of Heaven. Lots more landscaping and natural beauty there.
I loved these trees in China. I really don't know the name, but I called it the camouflage tree because of the markings on the trunk.
This particular part of the Temple of Heaven sits atop a magnificent piece of rock taken from a lake that the emperor liked. As I recall, this enormous rock had to be brought from hundreds of miles away. John and I were marvelling that the workers were able to accomplish the task and our guide basically said they had no choice.
These two trees are called the "Lover's Trees" I believe.
I think I'd feel pretty emperor-ish on a throne like that.

THE Temple of Heaven.
Beautiful painting inside the dome.
This temple is behind the Temple of Heaven and is encircled by a brick wall, which gives it interesting accoustics. Our guide went to one side of this temple and we went on the other and we could clearly hear her speaking to us. In fact, it sounded as if she were speaking from right behind us.
Timeless beauty, eh?

1 comment:

schoolmother said...

Jill! I am so sorry I totally missed the fact that you had just been in China and were home with your new son. I'm so glad you said something on RR. I have so enjoyed getting caught up on your blog and that post around Christmas time about Joseph being a hero put me in tears.