Beijing Day Three
Today we had a really nice lie in. I don’t know how we managed to sleep so long as the Hostel was very noisy.
At lunchtime we headed to the Forbidden City. This is where the Emperor would have lived. Built between the 1400’s and 1500’s it was spectacular. The grounds are around a square mile in our guestimation compiled of various Chinese statues, large walls, huge copper bowls (which would be full of water for any fire issues) bridges and gorgeous traditional Chinese buildings. The grounds are surrounded by a moat as you would expect. The Forbidden City is always guarded and at the entrance there are army barracks which are still used to this day.
We then went onto Jingshan Park which is at the back of the Forbidden City. We took some stairs up to a building where there was a female Buddha statue, and where we took some great pictures and enjoyed the scenery. On the way back down we heard some music and decided to explore; what a journey that turned out to be! There were people singing in a choir around the park and as we approached we soon saw the bigger picture. In this square were people singing and a brass band playing with around 15 people dancing in the square. Their dancing amused us greatly! ha. Arms were flying everywhere and they all seemed like ballerinas. Check out the video of the guy dancing when i’ve uploaded it. It looks like he’s waltzing with an invisible friend, maybe a ghost! We walked through and things got weirder, a man with a karaoke machine was sat listening to his friends sing and then we approached a group of hundreds of people who had all gathered on this dark Sunday night in herds of 10-20 to debate and talk. It was very weird considering it was about 5 degrees.
Then we decided to start the walk home. We could have got the tube but felt the exercise would do us good. As we reached the end of a road we saw lights and around the corner was a line of 30 outdoor stalls selling all kinds of foods. No surprise then to see the usual suspects again of every insect and reptile imaginable on a stick. There was also noodles and rice. We had noodles for dinner fed to me by Leona, she has really mastered the chopsticks, followed by deep fried ice cream! Yes ice cream thrown into the fryer and pulled back out, in all fairness it was quite enjoyable, certainly different. The rest of our meals today consisted of fruit and water.
We finished at the mall were we had a look around for an hour and then we returned to the hostel.
Our legs and feet are sore again. We hadn’t planned to do so much walking today after climbing all the stairs at The Great Wall but you always think that things aren’t so far when you’re looking at a map.
Tomorrow evening we will be getting the sleeper train to Xi’an. We have to check out of the hostel at 12pm, so do not plan to do anything in the day but hang out at the hostel.