Beijing is the most cahotic city I have ever seen; but in spite of all I must say it is fascinating.
There are really so many things to be seen, and unfortunately our time was not so long; so we had to plan every single minute.
When we got to our hotel, we booked two trips, the first to the Great Wall of China and the second a city tour to see the main atrtractions.
I will deal with the Great Chinese Wall in another article, because there are so many things to say!
The first (and one of the most famous) thing to see in Beijing is certainly the Forbidden City. We were told to visit it with a guide because in August it’s rather difficukt to find tickets. To telle the true,when we got there there was a terrible crowd. But we could see a lot while waitiging in the queue.
Just in front of us there was Tienanmen Square, the sixth biggest square in the world; it was made famous by some important historical event taht took place in Beijing. It was here that Mao Zedong proclaimed the birth of the Chinese Popular Republic; and it was here, too, that some protests took place in 1989. Its name means “Door to Celestial Peace”.
Just near the entrance of the Forbidden City there is mao Zedong Mausoleum. While we were in the queue, we realized that a lot of Chinese were going to visit it. it is a red building (of course), with a huge picture of the leader of the Chinese Popular Republic. It is really imposing!
At last we managed to enter this huge structure; it is imposing, large and very crowded. Our guide walked in front of us with an umbrella so that we didn’t get lost, and in the meanwhile he told us the story of this wonderful landmark. For about 500 years it was the residence of Chinese Emperors and of their families. Today it is a World Heritage Site of Unesco, and a museum too. It is difficult to describe it, but it was pleasant to admire the buildings, the doors, the rock dragons and the beautiful roofs with their decorations.
It was very tiring to visit it on such a wet and hot day, even because our guide was always on the run and he didn’t give us rest!
Temple of Heaven
At the end of the visit, we were taken to a shop were they sold pearls, but honestly we were not very interested, so we didn’t stay for long!
Then we had lunch in a typical Beijing restaurant, I didn’t eat much because I was afraid the food was too spicy, but it the way food was presented was nice. In tne middle of the table there was a wooden circle (somewhere else we saw it in glass); on it the dishes are lain and the circle can rotte so everyone can help himself as he prefers!
The visit to the Temple of heaven was fantastic! This temple was used to make propitiatory rites, they should hep with the harvest and they were made by the Emperor himself, as he was considered as the “Heaven’s child”. The main colour is blue, because the tiles used for the roofs are blue. normally the tiles of the imperial buildings are yeallow, because it is the colour of imperial power- I liked very much the round structure, but I was a little upset ehrn I learnt about animal sacrifices. Also this temple is a World Heritage Site.
The last stop of our tour was the Summer Palace. it is a very large park, and inside it several buildings are scattered. In the middle there is a lake, you can take a row there or you can have a trip on a very coloured dragon-shaped big boat. Its Chinese name means “Garden of Educated Harmony”… and the atmosphere you can breath there is really relaxing and full of harmony. We were lucky because it was a sunny day, so we enjoyed a very nice walk in the park.