fivemack (fivemack) wrote,

In Beijing

The Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven are very much as impressive as everything would lead you to believe; hundreds of pavilions (square with yellow roof tiles in the former place, blue-tiled and occasionally circular in the latter) held up on great red columns, with various numbers of auspicious roof-beasts sitting on each of the corners. The Great Wall is also pretty remarkable, though the bit at Badaling is rather more of a Great Staircase than I was expecting.

Yuanmingyuan is full of signs, carefully without English translations, which look as if they're probably saying '150 years of humiliation' - an Anglo-French army sacked Yuanmingyuan rather thoroughly in 1860, an action that I'm afraid I remember most vividly from Flashman; nobody did anything actively unfriendly, but it did feel slightly more disconcerting to be the one white face in that busy park than the usual circumstance of being the one white face in the subway car.

(Beijing underground is extremely underground, you don't get incidental city views on branches which happen to be on viaducts. It has six times as many lines as shown in the 2000 guidebook I have, most of which are longer than any of the ones in the guidebook, and there's at least one new line opening before the end of the year)

Tomorrow I will try to look at some buildings built after the Qing dynasty.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.