Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Getting Lost in the Forbidden City, Beijing, PRC

The Forbidden City

The Forbidden city in Beijing might just be one of the grandest monuments built by mankind. Versailles? Miniscule. Buckingham Palace? peshah!  The courtyard at the Gate of Supreme Harmony held room for an audience of 100,000 for the Emperor. It took us forty minutes just to walk around the walls to the appropriate entrance, even though our lovely hotel The Lee Garden Apartments was just two blocks away.  

Did we hire a guide through this labyrinth?  No, we relied on our trusty bestie Auntie Nic. Nicole has served as BFF, partner in crime, playmate, cricket-eating challenge companion, but most of all a wonderfully patient travel companion for every member of the clan. Today, she made imperialist grandeur come alive. 

Here we are ringing the bell...

After guiding us through the maze of the largest string of palaces on earth, Nic took preggers Kam back to the hotel via rikshaw. The boys and I decided to run up the steps of Jingshan park for a stunning view of the entire walled city below. We then skipped down the five-block long Beiheyan Dajie park, sandwiched neatly between the uptown and downtown lanes of this enormous avenue. For a night-cap, I thought the hotel pool would wear them out, maybe the Peking Duck will.