Friday, May 11, 2007

first day in Beijing

My first day in Beijing, I took a bus from the train station to Tiananmen Square and looked for a hotel south of there.

primera vista de Tiananmen

The square is impressively huge, much bigger than any other open plaza I've ever seen. The north end is dominated by Tiananmen with its huge portrait of Chairman Mao.

retrato famoso (del otro lado de la calle)

retrato famoso (de cerca)

After I dropped my bag off at the hostel, I went back to Tiananmen Square to visit the Forbidden City which used to be the home of the emperor. It has been restored and converted into a museum. Here's the main entrance.

entrada grandiosa

The architecture inside is everything I expected it to be: restored traditional Chinese buildings

with lots of different levels

ciudad prohibída

and fancy bridges too.

ojo de puente

Inside the museum, you can get some sense of what life used to be like in the palace. This is a picture of what an imperial audience would have looked like:

lo que debe haber en vez de turistas

And the chair he would have sat in:


bandera paraguas

A close-up of mushrooms on another banner:

hongos mágico

Some concubines' dresses
vestidos de concubina

For transportation:
ancestro del taxi

There were also parts of the museum dedicated to imperial learning, including this sutra written in both seal and common script,


these geometric figures,

figuras geométricas

this machine to distill water,

para distillar agua

and this astronomical model.

modelo de los cosmos

The ceramics collection was made up of impressive walls of pieces of ceramics made throughout history in different Chinese kilns.

trozos de cerámica

Yixing clay teapots were also on display.

+ teteras

Outside, you had to be careful of the lion in the cage.

jaula para el león peligroso

When I left the Forbidden City, I was amazed again by the sheer immensity of Tiananmen Square.

desde Tiananmen hacia la plaza

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