April-May 2013, Beijing – Forbidden City, All the Temples

Forbidden CityMy main point of appreciation when going to places like the Forbidden City is how in the world they managed to build something this vast (and I am not kidding – the place is HUGE) this intricate, this beautiful, considering this was all crude work with nothing of the technology and equipment we have right now. That alone makes me stand in awe at what would have been the “normal tourist attraction”.

Forbidden CityForbidden CityThe walk alone to the area was very picturesque, and it gave off this whole ancient, relaxing vibe with the ageing walls, swaying willow trees, and the somehow clear lake that beautifully reflected the line of trees on its surface. Walking through all of these, I for the first time understood how the ancient Chinese poets could be so inspired by walking around alone.

DSC_4312Forbidden CityForbidden CityForbidden CityPretty soon, we arrived at the main entrance! Word of caution: more temples and their roofs to come. Haha!

Forbidden CityForbidden CityForbidden CityForbidden CityAnd here we are! Kinda sad to see that parts of it were under repair and that we couldn’t see them, but better them being maintained than neglected, right?

Forbidden CityForbidden CityForbidden CityForbidden CityAn actual sundial from the olden times. Imagine life without watches – almost unthinkable!

Forbidden CityForbidden CityWe were with a tourist guide during all of our trips around Beijing, and while my usual first instinct is to ignore their yapping and just explore by myself. This time, however, I was glad I decided to listen – did you know how this patina came to be? This HUGE bronze pot was all coated with pure gold, but when the British invaded, along with all the other places and relics they destroyed, they wanted this pot as well. But it was just TOO huge, they couldn’t move the thing. So they did the next best thing they could think of – they scraped off as much gold as they could. :(

Forbidden CityForbidden CityForbidden CityThe inside of one of the biggest & most important temples – look at how well they were able to maintain it! Just remember, these are over a thousand years old.

Forbidden CityForbidden CityOne more thing: if you want a good workout, GO TO THE FORBIDDEN CITY. Haha! Seriously. I watched a National Geographic documentary on it once, and it described from aerial view how it was actually a whole expanse of five circles or something. (Just look it up.) Amazing stuff!!

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