Saturday, June 28, 2014

Beijing--Forbidden Palace--6/15

All morning I tried to locate a place to buy my last China ticket from Nanning to Hanoi while here in Beijing without success. As agreed, I met up with Klara and Flo at the Front Gate entrance to the Forebidden City at 1PM. Unlike last time I was here, security was very tight with package and body scanners around this massive facility. I had heard that last Thursday that there was some sort of action there where three people were killed----protestors??? Hard to find out with the Great China Internet Wall up. Maybe I will get the details when I get to Vietnam.

Flo and I are standing at the Front Gate to the Forbidden Palace. It is named the Forbidden Palace because during the Ming and Qing Dynasties beginning in the 15th Century, it was off limits for 500 years to normal people.
 
 

Again because it was the weekend, there were many families visiting these grounds. I am joining Mao in front of the Gate of Heavenly Peace.

 
As we make our way from this gate to the back where we come to the Imperial Garden, we pass by several gates, palaces, and halls with names like Duan Gate, Meridian Gate, Supreme Harmony Gate, Hall of Supreme Harmony, Hall of Middle Harmony, Hall of Preserving Harmony, Heavenly Purity Gate---Starbucks???---Palace of Heavenly Purity, Hall of Union, Earthly Tranquility Palace, and Imperial Peace Hall.
 
 
Klara is trying to figure out which gate we are at.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
After leaving the Forbidden Palace we climbed up a short hill called Jingshan Park to look down upon the Forbidden Palace. On this day because of the air pollution only the view was forbidden with the sun barely showing through as a hazy golden globe. At least you can see Flo and Klara.
 

We then returned to a restaurant near my hostel and had duck pancakes with cucumbers and spinach. Tey did a very artistic job on the spinach with pine nuts and garlic.

 
 

That night I attended an acrobat show with some amazing acts including a guy balancing high up on two poles, mask changing actor, plate spining girls doing acrobats, girls doing tricks on bicycles, pretzel girls in impossible shapes, and the finale was five motor bikes racing around a metal round cage. Here are some of the video clips I took of the acts.

 

 

 

 

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