Tuesday, March 20, 2007

China Trip - Part 3

There were only a few moments where we caught a glimpse of what everyday life is like for the people of China and a couple of them came on this day of traveling. We continued our journey with a rickshaw ride through some of the older areas of Beijing and then we took a trip to the Temple of Heaven. As we walked the long corridor to the temple, we saw a large group of people playing cards, dancing, and making music. It was a glimpse of life that I would like to have taken part in, but I felt like an outsider. I'm still not sure what card games they were playing. The Temple of Heaven was a breathtaking structure and from the top of the hill you could see the entire city.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

China Trip - Part 2

   I'm picking up my narrative on the second half of the first full day in which we visited the Great Wall. It was absolutely breathtaking and the pictures don't do it justice. You could see the wall winding through the mountains for miles standing dark against the new fallen snow.

The next morning, we visited Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. It was extremely cold when the wind picked up, but the sights were impressive. The Forbidden city is quite a palace, and the bold colors and detailing have been recently restored in preparation for the Olympics. One of the largest buildings was still under wraps. I was struck by the size of the palace. As I walked through the last few corridors I thought I was nearing the end only to walk into a massive courtyard. I think it was about seven courtyards, but don't quote me on it. (Check out the satellite image on Google Maps.) In my next post, I'll write about our rickshaw ride through Beijing and our visit to the Temple of Heaven.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

China Trip - Part 1

Vanessa and I just got back from our trip to China and I'm going to spread out some of the details over several days. We took over eight hundred pictures, so I'll be sharing a few from each of the days. In this first (of many) posts about the China trip I'll talk about our first day of sight seeing in Beijing.

It snowed on our first morning in China and it was a welcome if not shocking change from the weather back home. I've been missing the snow since I moved to California so it was good to be in it again, even if it made walking around a bit difficult. We started the day with a short tour of the Summer Palace, which was a gift from the emperor to his mother for her 60th birthday. It was quite a gift, a man made lake and acres of gardens.

After seeing the palace, we traveled to the Ming Tombs and visited the largest tomb. The buildings were massive and filled with artifacts buried with the emperors of days long gone by. The styles and designs of the ancient crowns and armor were very interesting and not quite what I was expecting. If you'd like to see more pictures, I'll point you to a place where you can view them. Tune in for more details from the trip in the very near future.