We wrapped up the tour portion of our trip to China in Beijing. Quite the city, but I must say, once you are away from the iconic sights, it tends to look like all the other cities we have been in in China. Massive and a little bit depressing due to the lack of colour. Don’t get me wrong, we have enjoyed some fantastic spring blooms but the buildings during the day are all grey and a bit tired looking. The iconic sights though, are just that, iconic.

Ti'anamen Square
First stop was Ti’anamen Square. Big doesn’t do it justice. As our guide pointed out, the square is larger than the worlds smallest country, The Vatican. The people here are lined up to pay respects at the mausoleum of Mao. 20,000 of them. The cue was 2km long and 5 people across.
Ti'anamen Square
From the north end of the square you can hardly make out the 20,000 people in line.
Cameras Everywhere
Unfortunately, like most other major cities in the world, there are cameras everywhere. China does take it to the next level though. What I wondered about was how they managed all the data from all the cameras everywhere. When you are driving in the major cities it is like being in a 70’s disco with a constant stream of flashing lights as the passage of your vehicle is recorded.
Honour Guard
At the north end of Ti’anamen Square you see the portrait of Mao on the first wall of the Forbidden City. With the Honour Guard across the street. A member of each arm of the Armed Services stands guard while the sun is up.

The next destination was just north of Ti’anamen Square, The Forbidden City. Named such as only the Emperor and his family and staff could enter it. For a great history and understanding of the City learn more here.

The Forbidden City
Looking NW from the interior of the Forbidden City you can see the white Bai Ta on Jade Flower Island. The orange and red colours were only used by the Emperor.
Centre Meridian
Looking south out of the South Gate of the Forbidden City you see everything is aligned along the centre axis of the Forbidden City. Only the Emperor could enter through the centre gate.
Forbidden City
One of the lions guarding the inner sanctum of the Forbidden City
Forbidden City Moat
As we left the Forbidden City by the north gate we encountered this fellow fishing in the moat. It seems fishing in the city is a favourite pastime of the older crowd.
Summer Palace
We arrived at the Summer Palace a little later in the day and got to enjoy the lovely light just before sunset across Kunming Lake.
Long Corridor
This 900 metre long covered corridor was built so the Emperors mother could enjoy a walk by the lake without worrying about the rain when at the Summer Palace.
Temple of Heaven
Constructed in the early 1400’s, The Temple of Heaven served as a place of worship for the Emperors of China.
Spring Colours
With the last day of our tour upon us we were reminded of how lucky we have been to enjoy beautiful spring weather nearly the entire time. The colours have been beautiful.
Sunset
As we wrap up our tour with Wendy Wu and the great guides they have provided us, we look forward to dabbling our toes in house sitting in China.

 

Welcome to our travel blog. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to say, "I'm out of here?" Well we did, and in 2013 we made it a reality. We sold or gave away all of our possessions other than what fit in our luggage and we set off on an endless adventure. Part of our goal is to share our experiences with others and hopefully provide some information, motivation, or just a moments escape. The general idea was to look for a place that would be ideal to settle down in. However in the meantime it is about experiencing life in different countries amongst different cultures and learning how to understand and appreciate each other. A large part of our time is spent housesitting which provides an excellent opportunity to experience more of the "normal" neighbourhoods as opposed to the tourist locales. Though we make sure to enjoy those as well. So through plenty of photographs and a running commentary come and share with us our life on the road.

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