Friday, February 18, 2011

Touring Beijing - Day 1

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.


  1. Of course, after reading the whole post, I feel the need to post on the "hole on the ground". Really?? Wow.

    Looks like a really great day! So glad that you are having a good time! I'm thrilled you were able to post some pictures. You're bundled up but it doesn't look like you were freezing, hope you weren't. What an amazing place it looks like! I admit, now I feel I need to go watch Karate Kid!

  2. AWESOME! Yeah, We came a day late so didn't see any of those sights. How COOL! Great Pics. Classic breakfast. LOL. West meets East. I went 18 days in China successfully avoiding the use of a hole in the floor. :-)

  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE reading every word!!! Allows me to relive our days in Beijing and seeing everything you are seeing!!! So beautiful and SO thankful you are there!!! Hope you sleep well!
    Blessings and Joy!

  4. Love the blog! Enjoy your time there and I'll cross my fingers for a peaceful flight home. LOL

  5. YEA!! Brings back so many memories! Posting a pic of your first "squatty potty" is a rite of passage! ;)

  6. Yeah!!! This was a fabulous part of our trip too, all the sights and the smells, you're right, can't describe the different smells, it's all amazing!! And good thing because it keeps your mind busy until your little one arrives!!! Can't wait for Monday!!!!! Enjoy the next few days and rest up!!!

  7. SOOO excited to experience your trip with you! The pictures in so many amazing places rich in Chinese culture are amazing!

    It's taken me a few days to finally get to a computer to be able to post comments...I've been following your posts from my iPhone, but it's pretty hard to type much on that little "keyboard"!

    I had an idea about your picture-loading could use Adobe Photoshop in the laptop to reduce the resolution of the pictures so they'll upload faster. It's pretty Photoshop, select File, select Open, select the picture you want to post, once the picture is open, select Image, select something like "adjust image size" from that drop down menu, change the resolution from 300 (which is probably what your camera is taking pictures at) to 72. I did this for the pictures I sent from Ethiopia and it made things so much easier! Just make sure that you save the lower resolution photo (File, Save As, select jpeg file option) with a different name so that you don't ruin all your high resolution originals! 8)

    Have a WONDERFUL day! Can't wait to wake up tomorrow morning to find out what adventures you were on while we slept!

    We are ALL praying for you! (our kids think it's pretty cool that you're awake while they sleep!)

  8. I LOVE following your journey!!! Praying for you all! We will be walking in those same footsteps too! Do you have her yet??? SO EXCITING!!! You must be in awe!!!!

  9. So fun to see the sites that we too fun except for the potty or lack thereof. Ick.