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.
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
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
Not the smallest marble statue around (9 ft high)
The sun dial gave them the time of day
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