Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Copied from Monday, Nov. 29th 2010 Travel Blog

Forbidden City

First full day here - Forbidden City

It was so nice to see Kevin’s brother, Brad, and his wife, Jieying, at the airport on Friday night.  We easily got our luggage and took two taxi’s to our hotel.  Brad went with Kevin and Tyler.  Jieying went with me and the girls.  It was dark out so we didn’t get to see much of the city then, but it was a nice drive, taking about 45 minutes or so.
Don't forget to close the curtain!
Our room is very nice, with a soft king-sized bed and a couch.  The funny thing about the room is the view from the bedroom – and not the view looking outside!  There is a full-length window looking into the bathroom shower stall!  Fortunately, there is a curtain in front of the glass that we keep pulled shut.  We keep the lights on bright in the bedroom and almost off in the bathroom because even with the curtain closed you can still see body outlines – I suppose it is a bit like the new airport scanners!
View into the bathroom shower!
On our first day here we got to visit the Forbidden City.  The Chinese really like children – and they really like blond haired little girls!  We had stopped outside the city to take some pictures when a Chinese lady asked me if Laurel (our 9 yr old) would get her picture taken with her son, who, I might add, did NOT want his picture taken with Laurel!  It was really funny, but Laurel was a real trooper and smiled a beautiful smile for the picture.  The boy did not do so well… lol...  His mom will probably pull out that picture years from now and tease him about it.
Tyler and Kevin's brother, Brad
So… picture is done and we take a couple more steps toward the entrance when another lady asks if her and her friend could have their picture taken with Laurel.  We said yes and Laurel once again did a wonderful job and smiled her beautiful toothy smile. (She is missing a tooth or two).
So… picture done, we decided to get a picture of our family in front of the Forbidden City.  We thought it would be a nice keepsake – smile – a lot of other people thought so as well!  We had about 20 people taking pictures of our family at the same time.  It was fun.
When we were done with our picture, Laurel quickly put her hat back on her head – for two reasons – one, because it was cold out and two, to hide her blond hair! 
Brad quickly guided us further into the city so that we were sure to see all of it – we were on a mission: to get our tickets and get inside the city!
Inside the city you had to go through many gates to get to the center – it was bigger than I thought it would be.  The part I liked the most was the garden.  There were very old trees inside the garden and I thought it was beautiful even in the winter.  I’m sure it would be much more so in the summer. 
We walked straight through the city to the other side.  A Chinese gentleman in the US told us to be sure to visit the park behind the city but we were running behind on the other sites we wanted to see, so we only saw the park from the distance.
Lowering of flag at Tiananmen Square
We tried to get a cab but for some reason none of them wanted to take us where we wanted to go.  They took off in a hurry when we told them… so we walked back all the way around the Forbidden City on the outside of it to the front entrance – seemed to be a really long walk, but we enjoyed the scenery and got a snack from a street vendor on the way.  Our snack was really good – it was stuffed with an onion, like a green onion.  Jieying laughed and said we would get bad breath if we ate too much of it J
We didn’t actually stand on Tiananmen Square.  I only knew it was the square b/c we saw a bunch of guards marching.  They were taking down the flag.  Brad had never seen it done before so it was good that he saw it.
From the square we went to where the entrance into the city used to be.  I wouldn’t have known it except for Brad telling us, but it was nice to imagine the big wall that use to surround the city and the big gates that would close at night to keep the people safe on the inside.  It wasn’t good to be on the outside of those gates after dark!
Close to where original wall was around Beijing
We got to see some of the night life in Beijing as we walked to our restaurant.  We passed where the oldest pharmacy used to be along the way.
All the food we have eaten here in Beijing so far has been wonderful!  I will add more to the blog as soon as I can.  For now, we need to get ready to meet Jieying for the afternoon.  In two days we get to meet Lyric!

1 comment:

  1. We loved Beijing food, but I'd forgotten about the blond hair. My teenaged daughter had about three feet of blond hair, and we always caught people admiring it.