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China, day 2
May 22, 2002

Waking up the next day, this view of Beijing greets you.

Grabbing a real good hotel breakfast (I love hotel breakfasts!)

It's a nice restaurant, with nice water decorations (ponds, falls, streams)

Overlooking the restaurant

Approaching the gate to the forbidden city - the emperor's residence

Just follow the green flag - and don't get lost

Always ready to shoot

Sneaking a shot of this Chinese trio

(Part of) the giant statue at the center of Tiananmen Square

The emperor himself

The Chinese love to fly kites on their large square - and quite a few get stuck, apparently

The national flagpost

Five bridges, the middle one for the emperor (carried, of course) and the next closest pair for his closer men. The outer ones for the remaining staff. (Ordinary people could not enter the city - it's forbidden)

The camera guys

After the first gate, you're on the next large square

See these soldiers exercise! (1.8MB) (movie file)

Once through the second gate, you're at another big, big square.
Notice how there are only three stairs now. No lower staff continue from here.

Under the marble tile on the square are another 14 layers of tiles!

Around the throne, marble tiles are specially treted to shine forever: baking for 136 days, followed by 14 layers of varnish.

The throne.

Lots and lots of marble. Brought from 14 kilometers southwest of Beijing. Dragged on snow in the winter, on grass in the summer.

this site is under construction

The emperor's practice throne

Yet another throne for its special purpose

Notice how there're also houses on the hill

roofs, roofs, roofs

and lots of marble

Wall ornament

One should never be out of coffee

The wall of the nine dragons


Under her heavy paw, there is a playful baby lion.

I wonder if I can get DSL here?


In this exhibition hall, even the ceiling is stunning

Very inviting doors

The emperor's winter crown

Above every entrance, you find these

arching stairs

Not the smallest marble statue around (9 ft high)

The sun dial gave them the time of day

Interesting doorway

A quick trip inside to cool off and grab some souvenirs, and tea

After a few hours in The Forbidden City, we stopped for lunch along the way to the summer palace.

Lunch music! (movie file)

Just nearby the summer palace, there was a copper/enamel handcraft factory.

First, cutting little pieces of copper thread and gluing onto copper vases

The putting enamel based color in the regions separated by copper threads

After painting, the vases are off to the oven (hole to far right) where they sit for a short in extreme heat. They come out red hot.

Vases in painting line

Sanding the surface while spinning the vases really fast.

The pattern of a very nice Beijing Silk Mat

Entering the summer palace, you wander what you may do...

See how vendors aproach you as you walk... (movie file)

ferries trafficing the lake by the summer palace

We're boarding this one

the emperor's summer palace through the haze

The Summer Palace.

The Long Corridor is the world's longest - half a mile - with ancient paintings telling ancient stories along the whole way.

A look into the ceiling

small creek next to the long corridor

Yes, it is long...

Guiding in progress

And we're all paying attention, grabbing yet another piece of Chinese history.

A Chinese kid admiring the spectacular white flowerbed

Monty catching those flowers

At the end of the corridor, all windows are different shapes.

View from the way back home. Seems like everybody that can afford an air conditioner, installs one. Or two.

Sign found in the hotel lobby; "Welcome The University of California Alumni Chorus"

Drums playing as we enter the evening dinner restaurant (movie file)

We all got a red wrist band - wear it for three days and it brings good luck.

We enjoyed quite a few dance performances during our dinner.

All of us in a small room = very nice and warm in there :-P

Kathy spinning it

Anybody up for a snake, bug, worm, or lizard?

Leaving the restaurant

Hoping for good luck on the way home

Proceed to Day 3

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