October 22 – Tianamen Square and the Forbidden City

I’m very tired and my feet are sore. I’m going to spend the evening my my hotel room with a pot noodle and maybe some colouring.

Today was a big walking day. First was a walking tour of Tianamen Square and the Forbidden City provided by our tour guide. It was very, very peoply. I expected lots of people all the time, and understand intellectually that China has a large population, but these things have nothing to do with actually being jostled about in an actual crowd of people. At one point, as people had to go through a narrow gate, there was a river of people and I just had to walk along with the flow. Lucky our guide was just on the other side of the gate with his flag.

However, I have found that at 5’6”, I can stand on my toes at the back of a group who are looking at a particular exhibit and peer over them. Handy.

After a lunch of dumplings, some of my tour mates and I went to Jingshan Park, which is immediately adjacent to the Forbidden City. There’s a hill one might climb (rocky, uneven stairs are provided for your convenience) to get a view of the Forbidden City from high up. I climbed the stairs. I took the picture. Now my legs hurt.

We also visited The White Pagoda, which is in another park. The White Pagoda parks was more beautiful than Jingshan Park. Evidence: when I entered I said “Wow! This is amazing!” Also, there are many weeping willow trees surrounding a lake, so it’s hard to compete. Oh, also, the admission price to get into The White Pagoda park was 5 times the cost of Jingshan (10 yuan vs. 2 yuan) so you know it’s something special.

There were more stairs to get up to the white pagoda. Legs might be sore tomorrow. Does not bode well because tomorrow we’ll be walking THE GREAT WALL.

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