This is my life...a series of dreams come true on a daily basis. Join me as I run down my dream - maybe you will find your dream in the process.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tiannamen Square and Forbidden City

Today was the tour through Tiannamen Square and the Forbidden City.  We began our day at the breakfast bar again.  Mom finally figured out how to get more than one cup of coffee.  The trick was to tell the waitress that everyone at the table drank coffee.  Even the little girl?  Yep.  Even the little girl.  I think we counted seven cups of coffee that Mom gulped down before 7:00 a.m.

We then all loaded up the bus and headed for the tours.  The day was cold and rainy.  We were all frozen to the bone.  The Tiannamen Square is huge.  No other word for it.  The Forbidden City was beautiful.  It was the palace where the Emperor resided in Beijing.  Our guide Joy told us that one emperor, who was only four years old, was forced (as was custom) to sit with the bodies overnight of the previous emperor and his grandma.  The child was terrified.  The rational was that the officials believed that the spirit of the previous emperor transferred in the night to the new one.  Scary stuff - even if you are not four years old.

The above is Chairman Mao's Mausoleum.  People still come to pay respects to his grave.

This is the photo of one of the temples within the Forbidden City.  The stone sculpture is carved from one stone.  No one was allowed to touch it - not even the emperor.

The trip back to the bus was not without some hilarity.  Our driver kept trying to get the bus to us.  Joy had us waiting at the pre-determined spot, but saw a police car.  So we walked on down the road a piece.  Well, the police car kept following us (not really, but it seemed like it), so we crossed the street on the driver's advice so he could pick us up there.  Then he was followed by a police car, so we crossed the street.  Again.  After some Laurel and Hardy hijinx, we finally made it onto the bus.

From there, the tour of the hutong.  More on that in the next post!

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