Tuesday, March 17, 2009
On the road to the Great Wall
Beijing China :Our first stop in this land of 1.3 billion is called the Temple Of Heaven. This is a sprawling complex of huge round layered marble platforms and buildings surrounded by trees and open spaces that the locals use for Tai Chi, dancing, playing cards, singing, and many other forms of group activities. All dimensional aspects of the complex are in multiples of 3. Which 9 is the most common. The Chinese are very superstitious. Daily life is full of what is good or bad luck. I guess what struck me most was the large numbers of people enjoying themselves in the outdoors making their own fun. The next stop was the Forbidden City. This collection of buildings housed the emperor, his concubines his wife and the eunuchs. Nobody else was allowed, not even the children after they married. Penalty for intrusion was death. Nobody had seen what was in the buildings till after the farmer rebellion brought an end to the Dynasties forever in 1924. Three fourths of the buildings are still not open to the public. The Forbidden City has 9999 and a half rooms. All the city is heated with built in stoves under the floors that makes them warm for winter comfort. Lunch was served on a large round glass lazy ----- in the middle of each table with all the entrées on it. After lunch off to Tiananmen Square That will hold a million people- the largest square in the world. Chairman Mao’s remains are buried there in a large mausoleum. The day ends with a Peking Duck dinner in a restaurant built in 1846. The restaurant was located in a brand new section of town that was to look the way it did in the turn of the century. It was done for the Olympics and nearly all the shops are empty. It looks like a surreal movie set from a Rod Serling movie. We ate the duck in the traditional ways and drank some pretty darn good Chinese beer. Sue won a card that had the history of the duck on it- like it was a person or something. Then to bed –Whew!