|China is crowded. You have to catch a ride anyway you can.|
Our first stop in Beijing was The
The Palace was pretty impressive. We came no where near viewing the entire site. Our guide suggested spending two to three days there if you want to see it all. The complex is made up of 980 buildings and 8,886 rooms. Though if you ask the emperor he believed there to be 9,999 rooms. Shh....don't tell.
|The view of the first courtyard after entering through the south gate.|
|Most of the roofs were painted gold. We were told the original paint was made with actual gold. Fancy.|
|I'm on a moat.|
All around the courtyard were these huge vats. They were used to collect rain water. The rain water could then be used to douse any fires in the all wood palace.
|In one ear. Out the other.|
|The Empress and her iPad.|
|This didn't have to do with the concubines, so I can't remember much other than I believe we were told it was carved from one solid piece of stone.|
|There is no evidence Clif attended this outing according all the pictures |
These lions were also guarding important buildings. We were told if they had five toes they were guarding an important person. These have four toes and also the ears are turned down. If I recall correctly, the turned down ears had to do with them being in front of structure for the Empress. It made them less furious.
|Restored and beautiful.|
|A view of the outer structure.|
There were many kinds of incenses burners. There were large ones burned during ceremonies and smaller ones, which I am assuming were more for every day use. Interest fact: sometimes a concubine might try to add poison to an incenses burner like pictured below in an attempt to kill another concubine.
What I also found interesting that the last man chosen to be Emperor during the Qing Dynasty was actually a three year old boy. The guide told us at his coronation he was escorted by his father. The young boy was frightened by the noise of the ceremony and crying unconsolably. His father was over heard telling him not to worry because it would all be over soon. Ironically, that was true. Four years after he became ruler the Qing Dynasty was over thrown. I am also pretty sure she told us this story because M may have been have a little fit in the baby-backpack.
The Gerke's meeting the last living nephew of the last emperor. He now sells his calligraphy to benefit the City, they bought one like you see hanging in the rear.
The final time I will mention them, we were also told each night the emperor would choose which concubine to spend the night with. His eunuch would then go to retrieve her. She would be required to take off all her clothes and be covered with a sheet. She would then be escorted to the emperor and he would know that she was not hiding any sort of weapon that could be used to kill him.
After our tour ended we walked back through the City only to realize what a maze of buildings we had not seen, including a four star bathroom. It is truly an impressive site.
Stay tuned for more Beijing adventure!