What an amazing day!!
The 200 pictures we took today do not do one bit of justice to the sites that we saw. The intricate detail at Forbidden City or the great expanse of Tienanmen Square. The smells and the sounds... don't come through on film. But, trust me when I say... it was all amazing.
Tienanmen Square... the largest city square in the world. Site of many proud and not-so-proud moments in China's history.
I still can't believe it... that's US... standing in Tienamnen Square. :)
Below... here we are in front of the third one of these type of buildings... this one is where the Emperor's throne sits... AMAZING! After going through I think three of four of these "gates" you finally reach the inner court of the emperor's palace. Very few people were allowed to enter the palace, thus the reason it has been named the "Forbidden City".
Did you all see the new Karate Kid? Yeah... that's those gold knobs that you rub for luck!
Again the detail of these buildings is absolutely amazing. Oh and did I say they are HUGE and there are lots of them!
We also had the opportunity to visit Hutong Village... or Old Beijing. We were able to enter a home of a grandmother, daughter, son-in-law and grandson that live in one of the 600 year old homes. There were three of these small buildings around the courtyard that make up the home. They are not connected inside, you must walk outside to get to the other room of the house. This particular picture is of the Grandmother's portion of the home (the eldest always lives in the room facing south because it is warmest in the winter and coldest in the summer... NO HEAT!). The red banner on either side of the door and above the door are traditional banners hung during Chinese New Year (most people still have them up since CNY just ended)... they offer luck and good wishes to family that enter the home. The grandmother did the calligraphy for these banners which is starting to become a lost art in China. Really beautiful.
This is the Grandmother's bedroom... and her desk where she practices her calligraphy.
Like I said... nothing here does it justice, and I'm not sure you all want to "hear" me ramble on and on about it. But, what a GREAT day.
Additionally, we have now met the other 6 families in our travel group. They are so much fun, so interesting and so NICE. Very grateful for our group!
So, I'll leave you with a couple funny tidbits. No eyeballs in my soup today... but we did have bean curd and fried noodles for breakfast. Luckily... also corn flakes and croissants. Here's a picture of Steve's breakfast plate. :)
The food is SO good!!!!! and I really mean that. We are loving every last noodle.
And finally... this was one of my stops today.
Yes... that is a hole in the floor... and yes... you had to squat to use it.... and yes...I was one of those Americans that took a picture... and yes... I DID just blog about it.
19 hours ago