Breakfast- tried something new. The spirally things are just steamed dough, no filling. Oh, well. I dipped them like I would have dumplings, in the red lightly spiced sauce, mixed with vinegar.
Tiananmen Square southern gate: Zhengyang Gate
Tiananmen sq: looking kind of stormy, but never a drop did fall.Second try for the Forbidden City.
I tried to use someone else's ticket they had purchased online for yesterday. Fail. After standing in line at the regular ticket purchasing booth, I was redirected to (via pointing to a little map of the Forbidden City in my Lonely Planet guide) the correct area for the line, which was also the wrong line, but at least I hadn't spent a lot of time in that line. Finally approaching the window I was told it was for the wrong day. BUT I handed the clerk my pre-prepared money and voilà, she sold me a ticket rather than making me go back to line 1.
The Fordidden City is as massive as the Summer palace, flatter, less interesting and even more crowded. I really liked the Summer Palace's lakeside setting, too. There were many of the same types of buildings, like the private opera stage for example, and the Summer Palace's example was in better shape. The Forbidden Palace had slightly nicer Rockeries, but it was much more difficult to get around, I think. The signage of each in english was comparable.
From atop the outer wall
Hall of Literary Glory? After awhile all the halls and gates started looking alike.
Outside the walls, on the other side of the moat.
Imperial garden; many are rockeries and almost bonsi trees. Very calming, they have a great dimensionality (making up words now) that flower gardens lack. There was actually one regimented plant garden, but it looked to regimented for my tastes.
The ubiquitous lion, but always fantastic when original.
Steps up the sides for the litter bearers; the emperor rode in the litter suspended over the beautiful carvings in the middle, usually dragons.
I totally did not photoshop that sky; Beijing on a low smog, overcast day. This is one of several sun dials.
This was a form of entertainment; cups filled with wine were placed in water filled channels, flowing from water kegs hidden in rockeries nearby to the building. If the cup lodged next to you, you drank the wine.
There are many of these wells distributed around the compound.
I saw this in the hostel and laughed. My daughter has this exact image as a sticker. The young lady was from Italy, but bought it from the same website.