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pennae aquilae - April 13th, 2007

ceciliatan
Date: 2007-04-13 13:02
Subject: Today, at sea, writing up Beijing
Security: Public
Tags:asia trip, travel
Thursday, April 12 7:30 pm

Ship, sweet ship! I have climbed the Great Wall and I have set foot in the Forbidden City. I have eaten Peking Duck in Peking, and peddlers have tried to sell me Mao's Little Red Book in Tiananmen Square. (I bought a "Beijing 2008" baseball hat instead.) I have seen the Temple of Heaven and walked the Sacred Way. But now I'm back on the ship, we're pulling out of Xingang harbor right now, and I'm watching boats and other ships pass as we make our way through the busy shipping lanes.
a bit about the trip to BeijingCollapse )
My impression of looking at the grand, intricately decorated buildings of the temple was much like my feeling on visiting the Alhambra in Spain. A lot of "wow." Much of it has been recently repainted, but to see the thing is still standing made completely of wood after 600 years--it's impressive for that alone. The main temple building is made so completely of wood they would not even use nails to build it, and it sits on three tiers of marble. They don't allow people to go into the building any more, but you can look through the many doors and openings.

It's actually 10:22 in the morning as I'm writing this... I got interrupted last night by falling asleep. But now I have to stop again for the boat drill. Apparently they run the boat drill once a week, passengers and everyone. So I must go get my attendance taken at my lifeboat, with my life jacket on. More later.
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ceciliatan
Date: 2007-04-13 16:16
Subject: Beijing Sightseeing, Full Day One
Security: Public
Tags:asia trip, travel
Friday, April 13th, 2:37 pm

Just finished a nice Indonesian buffet lunch in the Lido restaurant. Dad and I went to work out and then weren't hungry for the sit down lunch in the Rotterdam. Mom and Julian are taking a cooking class and their lunch was included with that (I think they are eating what they cooked). The Internet was knocked out from yesterday when we left port to midday today, but now it's back and lots of people are poking around here in the library on their laptops and on the workstations they have here.
The ship's libraryCollapse )
Now, continuing our trip to Beijing. At the Temple of Heaven it was getting to be lunch time and we walked down a very long corridor, open on one side to the gardens, called The Long Corridor. On the open side, the railing is wide like a bench, and many senior citizens were sitting on it and playing cards, Chinese checkers, and Chinese chess (shougi). Also singing, knitting, and other pursuits. Senior citizens can pay a yearly nominal fee (the entrance to the Temple park is not free) and then come as often as they like. They do tai chi in the morning, and then all day long there are activities like group singing (we saw a group near the East Gate of about 70 people chorusing together) and such. Oldsters in china play hacky sack in circles of 5 and 6 people, only they've added feathers to the sack. When we walked back through the corridor on our way back to the bus later, the lunch hour was over and many of the groups had packed up their cards and were leaving, but the chorus was still going on and the hacky sack players were still there.
More on the temple of heavenCollapse )The Forbidden CityCollapse )
More interesting billboards: pipe fittings! the Beijing Shaolin Wu Shu School!
Read more...Collapse )
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