Friday, May 22, 2009

5 years ago today, May 22

May 22, 2004 saw:

Our journey from Shanghai to Beijing.  We were all completely exhausted.

But we made it!
...and those are like the only pics I have.  Phil saves the day, once again:

Laura just naturally has that peppy spirit that gives you energy no matter what.

Once there, we headed over to Tiananmen Square, toot sweet:

Phil's caption for this photo is "Baskin the Patriot."

Tiananmen gate

Tiananmen gate

I think I spent most of my time here in search of cold water.  It was really hot that day.  
So I opted not to go see Mao's body...I didn't really want to see it, personally, but I heard from Rose, who did go, that he was glowing eerily and it totally creeped her out.  I think I'm glad I stuck to the giant portrait on the southern gate of the forbidden city:

I did, of course, venture into the forbidden city.  

As you venture farther and farther into the city, passing through gate after gate, you really begin to get a sense of how grand and truly unique and protected this place must have been in it day...and then you see this, and it breaks your heart and any sense of wonder you may have had:

Phil helpfully blew up and cropped this one to help you catch the 'ew'...Starbucks.  In the forbidden city.  seriously.  [thankfully it was finally closed down, I think a year or two ago.]

But we pressed on.

The north gate of the forbidden city

Looking north from within the Forbidden City.