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Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Beijing story.

In Travel on April 13, 2011 at 12:24 pm

I’ve finally got my pictures together, so sorry this post is a little delayed. I went to Beijing just over a week after the earthquake. I wasn’t a radiation refugee or anything like that. It was a vacation scheduled well in advance. (Thank goodness, because airline tickets shot up like a rocket after March 11.)

I travelled to China alone, and was there under a week. So, I can’t say I went anywhere that was terribly off the beaten path, but it was a nice break regardless. Here’s some pictures.

Guarding the Forbidden City.

There were tourists everywhere in the Forbidden City. Getting a picture without some random Chinese man’s head or arm in the shot necessitated a lot of patience and some odd camera angles. I only wish I were better at photography so all that work left me with something better to show than a random gilt thing-a-ma-jig.

There were giant brass pots everywhere. I suppose I should have taken a guided tour so I’d know why.

This is the section of the Great Wall known as Mutianyu. It’s rebuilt. There is a ski lift and souvenir hawkers selling overpriced Snickers while dressed as Red Army soldiers. So, I don’t think it scores any points for authenticity. But, it was really quiet the day I went and really pretty.

I walked all over the city. Beijing was surprisingly easy to navigate. One the way to the Drum and Bell Towers I ran into a store with some pretty odd decor. The giant-ukulele-carrying Christmas bunnies pretty much set the tone of the place.

This was shot in Tiananmen Square. Those people made up one segment of the line to see Mao’s Tomb. One thing I learned is China is really good at lines. Needless to say, I did not have the time to pay my respects to the Chairman.

I actually went to the Temple of Heaven twice. The first time was late in the evening for my nightly walk. The temple is in a giant park and there were people flying kites, doing tai chi, jogging and lounging around everywhere.  The second time was during the day with a woman I met at the hotel.

I realize, writing this, that wandering around big cities may make for interesting trips but maybe not for super enlightening posts. I suppose I should have researched the provenance and ceremonial use of the random gilt thing-a-ma-jig. Or mentioned how this is the year of the rabbit, so the store decor serves as an example of how China is at a cultural crossroads. Or some such. I really just wanted to post some tacky tourist photos. Sorry. I didn’t have time for the Summer Palace. If I ever go back to finish seeing the sights, I promise I’ll do better by you all then.