A late 9:00am start on Monday 30th July with Taxi’s to the Temple of Heaven. Our Taxi got us to the South Gate however the other Taxi took our Tour Family plus Emily to the wrong East Gate.
Our Self-Made Beijing Shirts were our Dress for the Day
In front of Gate of Prayer for Good Harvests and Summer Palace
Tomic had to do the mad dash through the park to try and find them. Meanwhile Kerrie, Molly and I hung out in the park near the Echo Wall people watching. The Chinese really make good use of little space as we saw people and kids playing games and dancing.
Chinese Script Writing on Park Path
After a while the others found us. Emily and Sophia stayed with us people watching while the others went to check out the temples which we had already done on Friday. We all played hacky sack while we waited.
Hacky Sack – Feathers attached to a Weight
After Temple of Heaven we caught the Beijing Subway to Tiananmen Square. The plan was to spend 15 minutes having a quick look around and then head into the Forbidden City. However the girls were approached by some locals to have their picture taken with them. This then led to a queue of people wanting to have their photo taken with the girls. This happened a number of times throughout the holiday.
A few hours were then spent in the Forbidden City. As it is summer holidays in China it was very busy which unfortunately made it hard to have a good look at things. The few hours allocated by the tour was not enough but for us it turned out well as Kerrie and I have been through the Forbidden City in detail before and the girls would not have wanted to spend longer – they appreciated the buildings and gardens more than the art.
Around the Forbidden City
Family photo of our Tour Family and Molly and Emily
An interesting fact in telling if a lion is male or female is to look under their foot – if it is a ball under the foot then it is a male lion, if it is a baby lion then it is a female.
Final stop was the Summer Palace. This is my favourite of the sites in Beijing to visit. The Palace is set on a huge lake and it is a great place to chill. We didn’t arrive until late afternoon (around 4pm) and so the boats on the lake were closing but we still had plenty of time to walk around and have a look.
Summer Palace and Grounds
The long corridor, a covered walkway in the Summer Palace, is a must see as the paintings on the beams are original and untouched for centuries. The colours, although not as vivid as what they must have been centuries ago are still striking and impressive.
The Long Corridor
After a very long day it was then onto the station to board our 8:40pm train to Xi’an – a 12 hour journey. The sleeper was basic but did the job although none of the family seemed to sleep well and so all were tired the next day – I was fine and enjoyed my first night ever on a sleeper train.
Sleeper Train to Xi’an