LATEST/LIVE UPDATES FROM TWITTER! Follow us @vinpatholiday09

    Wednesday 9 September 2009

    Day Eight – Forbidden City and Olympic Village

    The Forbidden City was the enclosed home of the emperor, totally shut off from the common city folk. In fact it was only opened to visitors recently after the communist take over of the country in 1949.

    They say to take a half-day to explore the many gardens, throne rooms and out-houses. It is massive but a little repetitive, nevertheless worth the time to explore. Traditional architecture is abundant combined with monuments to the crane and turtle (symbols of strength and longevity). Large iron pots are dotted everywhere, originally filled with water and used as the primary fire-fighting defense. Many of the building have burnt down and have been rebuilt many times since their initial building in the 15th century. All in all, it’s a super large un-spoilt traditional spot and a must see visit.

    Leaving via the north gate, we noticed another palace high on a hill in the jingsong gardens, which would provide a perfect view down onto Beijing and the Forbidden City below. In fact the hill is artificial, created from the rubble extracted to create the moat around the Forbidden City. It was well worth the 300 or so steps.

    Leaving, we wandered around 90 minutes, heading east in search for the subway. We did find one, line 4, but it’s not open yet. This city is expanding and growing at an alarming rate. New subway lines are opening almost every other month! Imagine progress like that at home – I don’t think so.

    Finding the subway, we headed out to the site of the Beijing Summer Olympics of 2008. Rising out of the subway the “birdsnest” and “watercube” where straight in front of us. AMAZING AMAZING!!!

    You can actually get tickets to enter the “birdsnest” stadium, well worth it. It must have been something else to have been here last year to watch the games. During they stay, the soundtrack to the opening ceremony was played, almost haunting. The souvenir shop is still open, allowing you to pick up those last remaining 2008 souvenirs. Another must see.

    After a very long day of walking, we relaxed in the hotels swimming pool and Jacuzzi.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment