Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Lost Day at the Temple of Heaven

High tech entering the Temple of Heaven grounds

One of many such structures at the Temple of Heaven

Street market

Duck restaurant

Entrance to Forbidden City

September 7, 2008, Beijing, Sunday
In a hurry this morning. Yesterday, after posting, I discovered that it was Saturday, not Friday. This retirement thing is a bitch, never knowing what day it is! So we have lost a full day, sort of, and have to scurry.

After the morning planning, calls, reservations, etc., we set forth via Wukesong, to the Temple of Heaven. En route, we bought tickets at China National Bank to the Paralympics, Tuesday evening events in Bird's Nest. Then saw the overwhelming Temple of Heaven, buildings and grounds.It was a horribly humid day, but all the sights and sounds were great. Peking opera singing groups everywhere, traditional instruments and music. Not buskers, just people who love performing and people who love listening. Anyhow, the Temple was awesome.Then did the night food market (as seen on Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmern, etc.). We played it pretty safe, dumplings and fruit and such; and roasted oysters for me. Vicki would not try the fried scorpions. I would not try the fried silkworms. Then we got caught in crowds at T-square (Metro stations closed for fireworks, crowd control, etc.) and had to walk three stations to get back on the Metro. We crashed with extreme prejudice. But we are up early this AM to do the Forbidden City today. Much more later.

Later, but not much more. This morning we went back to the CBD, Vicki did some airline reservations/changes, and then we did the Forbidden City/Palace Museum (as it is now called). It is a whole day's thing, just hitting the high points. Building after building, monument after monument, museum after museum, collection after collection. And then the gardens. And the whole thing is not very old by Chinese standards. Fortunately, we still had enough energy for the promised Beijing duck, at the Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant. Superb duck; great fun watching the oven-master pop the cork. We followed this with a stroll in the commercial area nearby. Vastest, coolest mall ever. But no Omron pedometers.

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