Thursday, August 1, 2013

Finishing Up China

So just a few more pictures from China. So many of the places do look alike because the architecture was all done around the same time.

Here I am in front of the entrance to the Forbidden City. Of course it has the famous photo of Mao on it. This is Tiannamin Square where they had the protests in the 80's. I figured out it was because it is right across the street from the government buildings and also because Mao's tomb is there.

This is inside the Forbidden City. It is quite large and impressive. Eventhough it was very busy, you could go along the outside and avoid a lot of the crowds who seemed to all congregate in specific buildings.

The wall of the seven dragons.

The Temple of Heaven. This was after we had a delicious lunch with the most fabulous chicken that I didn't take any pictures of.

I learned about tea while I was there and figured out I've never liked it because I was making it wrong. I came back with a lot of tea and a tea set.

I rode in a rickshaw through the Hutong, which is the old part of Beijing. That is my tour guide Christina with me. She spent three days with me interpreting and ordering meals. I highly recommend a personal tour guide when in a country where you don't speak the language and have no idea how to read anything.

Noodles was the one dish I had problems using my chopsticks with. But by the end of this meal I could do a pretty good job.

This is my last day of touring at the Summer Palace. Yes it was that smoggy. Most of my pictures have a gray cast to them.

You could take a ride on the dragon boat on the big lake that is at the palace. We didn't do that because it was so smoggy I doubt you would have seen much.

The Summer Palace is extremely busy and full of tourist stops the entire way. This was the main place where I noticed the big difference between the United States and China. Most of the "historical" places in the U.S. don't have as many tourist shacks within the property. Outside of the property sure, but on the property no. And this is also where the noise of the crowds go to me. The tours through here use bullhorns to talk to their group and that was just loud and I of course didn't understand a word. Several times my guide would have to stop talking because I couldn't hear her right next to me.

My hotel on the sunny day I left Beijing. Blue skies make everything look better.

The Beijing airport is the largest one I've ever been too. The International Terminal was massive. Once I got checked in (I was quite proud I figured that part out on my own) I had to take a little video of the entrance. I don't know if you can see the massiveness of the building from this clip.

But the airport was really nice. Lots of things to look at. I wish I had stopped for something to eat before going all the way out to the actual terminal because it is a shopping/eating mecca at the main part.

So there you have it. My trip to China was interesting. I'm very glad I went but I was super glad to get home.

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