Which brings us to the conclusion of the Beijing series of blogs.
Our first day/night, we walked from our hotel to Tianamen Square.
It is a little unsettling being there. There are guards everywhere, CCTV, and plainclothes policemen watching you at all times. I'm not sure what they're looking for, but I was warned that I should be...careful. Don't do anything suspicious. Taking pictures of the guards is out of the question. I was actually a bit scared to walk on the grass, even after I saw some Chinese dudes doing it. The kids running around and playing and laughing seemed to be tempting fate. While we were waiting for the flag-lowering ceremony, several guards stopped a Chinese man with a red book. They quickly gathered around him, while the 6 of us tried not to look...act casual.
The flag-lowering ceremony was pretty intense as well. About 30-40 guards march through the Gate of Heavenly Peace (the one with Chairman Mao's famous image) and across the street and stand at attention while the three guards at the flagpole lower the flag and one winds it around his hand with sharp, jerky movements. Just as we were walking away, someone jumped over the chain surrounding the flag and the guards swarmed. I have no idea what the man's intention was; all I knew was that he was in BIG trouble.
Being in Tianamen Square was an experience for sure.
We had beautiful lighting.
A boy and his kites.
Our last full day in Beijing, we went to the Forbidden City. I didn't / still don't know much about it, except that it was full of tons of artwork, the buildings have yellow tiles on the roof, and there is a Palace Museum. And well...you know...it used to be forbidden. The Palace Museum was unfortunately closed, but wouldn't you know it? A lot of the artwork from the Forbidden City is now housed in the National Palace Museum in Taipei...and I have seen it. Lucky me, huh? The buildings were beautiful...no matter how many palaces and Asian architecture I see, I don't really get sick of it.
Well...I guess after a couple hours, I was all palace-d out...and I don't think I'm alone on that.
(Note...I took a lot of pictures of doors. And tiles. And roofs. I picked the best ones...you can thank me later.)
Hey. Look. Another door.
And the standard:
Mao and Me.
I really should have been packing...
Thanks for sticking it out!