Posted by: gochet | May 11, 2006

Rain Stopped! Temple of Heaven and surrounding area follows.

I really didn’t think I was going to get to post anymore cool stuff about Beijing attractions due to the pissy weather for the last few days. I was fairly certain that the last few days of my vacation were going to just be me hanging out, reading books, waiting to fly home. I was almost positive that I didn’t want to go with Mom and Gini yesterday to get my hair, nails, and feet done.

Boy, was I happy when I woke up to sunny skies, and beautiful weather on Wednesday! So while Mom and Gini went and did their own thing, I hopped into a cab and scooted off to the Temple of Heaven, glad as all-get-out that I could add one last attraction to my list of things I saw in Beijing. Besides, of course, the inside of a bar, which is probably where I would have ended up had it continued to rain.

The Temple of Heaven is, in my opinion, one of the more interesting places I’ve been in Beijing, not only for the beauty of the grounds, but for the sheer volume of things to see, learn, and read on the grounds. Not only is there the actual Temple of Heaven, but also the Temple of Fasting, the Divine Music Administration, Vermillion Steps bridge, the Echo wall, and acres and acres of evergreens and beautiful pathways connecting everything. Like most things here, it’s alot to take in, and most certainly your feet will begin to hurt before your mind begins to wander.

I struggled alot with taking photos at this place. Mostly because it’s the sort of stuff that’s interesting to read about, experience, and learn about, but would make a pretty crappy photo. As much as I’ve enjoyed traveling with my family, I’m glad that I made this sojurn solo. I really got to take my time, listen, ponder, contemplate, and wonder. Maybe that’s what I liked about the place so much, I don’t know.

The other wonderful thing about the day was the fact that the damn holiday is over, and all the Chinese are back at work. There were very few tourists, and nearly no one tried to sell me anything all day long. That alone was worth the $4 price of admission to the grounds, as far as I was concerned. It’s tough when you have to literally scream at little old ladies to make them understand that, no, I DON’T WANT ANY POSTCARDS!!!!! Fortunately, I didn’t have that problem yesterday, and it was a nice change of pace.

So today now is Thursday, and is pretty much just about making this post, posting photos for everyone to see, washing some clothes, and finding out if everything we bought in China is going to fit into the bags that we’re bringing home. Then tomorrow, it’s off to the airport at 6AM for about 16 hours of high speed, high altitude time travel. I think this may be my last post in China, but I’ll be sure to give an update when I’m back in the states. I think that the long plane ride will give me an opportunity to re-hash my experience here, and maybe I’ll be able to find something profound to say.

Or maybe I’ll just blather on and on about stupid shit, the way I’ve been doing it so far. 🙂 Here’s some photos from yesterday for everyone, and I’ll see you all in a few days. Posted by Picasa

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