Posted by Emily Block | 0 comments

Beijing! (Part 1)

   I welcomed the day with an amazing buffet breakfast.  The buffet had anything anyone could wish for for breakfast in the U.S. or China.  I don't think China is necessarily known for their baked goods, but oh my goodness, they should be!

  The schedule for the day was full of amazing sights including Tianamen Square and The Great Wall.  Our fist stop was to Tianamen Square.  As expected, our guides told us a lot of information about how this was the biggest square in the world and what all the surrounding buildings were, but there was no mention of the protests and massacres that also happened there.  Once again, I found myself taking up that duality of thought.  PArt of me was impressed by the scope, architecture, and cleanliness of the square and part of me was haunted by what happened here.  
   There were three main groups of people in the square.  There were tourists.  Lots of tourists.  Guides were leading groups around with flags on a long pole, shouting information in many different languages.  Following the tourist on the food chain were the people selling gems such as a Mao watch and military hats.  I found a stray dollar in my pocket and gratefully bought some gloves as it was quite cold.  At the top of that food chain, the military was a strong presence in the square.  We weren't really supposed to take pictures of them, but that wasn't strongly enforced as you can see.

Giant LCD TV!  

Across the square, we entered the Forbidden City.  I never quite got why it was called that.  Being in a wheelchair makes hearing guides in crowds pretty challenging.  I did catch that when it was used by the Emperor, it was rather closed off and only certain people could enter.  

The architecture was beautiful!  The walls, roofs, and paths were intricately carved and painted.  It was a little difficult to get around in the chair, but my meds kicked in part way though so I handled the stairs ok.  :0)

People could rub these for good luck.  

My favorite part of the city was the Emperor's Garden.  It has really aesthetically pleasing trees and interesting rock formations.  The path through the garden was inlaid with tiny stones that were meant to give your feet a massage when walked over with bare feet.


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