We flew from Xian to Beijing, about 2 hours.
Beijing has a population of 22 million, almost 5 million cars and a reputation for dreadful pollution, but we were lucky to have blue skies after rain the first night. The World Heritage Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City (Imperial Palace from 11420 to 1912), the Summer Palace and of course the Great Wall were all on our visiting list.
Temple of Heaven built 1420 for the Emperors to pray for bumper crops
Tiananmen Square is one of the world’s largest – this is an entry gate
No getting around it; there are crowds of people at the Forbidden City!
Guardian Lion inside the Forbidden City
A quiet courtyard in the Forbidden City
Leaving the Forbidden City
The Great Wall
Perfect weather and a lot of people on the Great Wall …
… but the crowds thin out the further up you go
Great Wall Tower
“If we fail to reach the Great Wall we are not true men”: Mao Zedong 1935
Gate to the Imperial Families Summer Palace
One of 14,000 paintings on the 700 meter long covered walkway
Summer Palace “is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design”
Found a great place for our morning run
China would not be the same without Tai chi
Carving Peking duck for our farewell dinner