Beijing

21/10/17

The day began with a visit to the famous, some would say notorious Tianenmen Square. The square which is big enough to accommodate 1 million people is watched over on one side by a benevolent looking chairman and is bordered on the other by a building that houses his body in a crystal coffin. We were pushed for time so did not go to pay our respects to the deceased.

Naturally there were numerous security men and secret police in and around the square. It was quite easy to recognise the secret police as they were all wearing identical outfits, but as they all appeared to be about 15 years old they were not as intimidating as they might have been.

The Forbidden City was our next stop. It is no longer forbidden but is so vast that it could probably accommodate well over a million people without feeling overcrowded.

We learned that the figures on the points of the pagoda roofs are always odd numbers 1,3,5,7 or 9. This one has 10, unique because it is the Emporers throne room.

The forbidden city covers an enormous area and we must have walked miles. We were glad to stop for lunch. I was glad I brought my cereal bars!

After lunch we had a rickshaw ride through the Hutong area which is the original Beijing. Narrow streets and old fashioned houses which mostly have been owned by the same families for generations.

This lady whose family are craftsmenmaking decorated silk screens invited us into her home. It was surprisingly large inside.

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