and Spencer Go to Xinjiang, China
or 10 Days West of Fast Food
27-28, 2001: The capital of China
and the site of the 2008 Olympics. The award of the Olympics to Beijing
occured the day before we left for China and the excitement had hardly
worn off by the time we got to Beijing. Even in faraway Kashgar,
people said they were planning on attending the Games.
was late leaving Dunhuang - in fact, all our internal air flights in China
averaged a couple of hours late, so we were not surprised. This meant
that our 2 days worth of touring in Beijing would have to occur on one
day. We wouls get Spencer to the Great Wall and the Forbidden City,
the home of Chinese Emperors and Communist leaders, now a big tourist attraction
on our last day in China.
we did have a little time to kill the night before - so we were off to
Tienamen Square, the heart of Beijing and the scene of many grand and terrible
events in China.
Tienamen is always full of people and this night
was no exception. This group of teenagers quickly appeared to get
a picture with Spencer and Larry. We walked the whole length and
got a good look at our next day's objective, the Forbidden City which is
just across the main boulevard from the square.
Our first visit of the next day would be to the
Great Wall, however.
||Larry and Spencer
strike a dramatic pose at the Great Wall. The last time we visited
the Wall in 1997, there were only a few other tourists there. This
time it looked like Disney World during high season. Mobs of Chinese
tourists covered the Wall heading in every direction. As a grand
touch of the New China, a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant was located
prominently at the entrance. Due to the heat and the crowds, we did
not linger long nor did we get any chicken. After a few photos, we
were on our way to the Forbidden City.
||The Forbidden City is an architectural
marvel. It probably comes the closest in China to being what most
Americans think of when they think of China. It has been the home
of Chinese Emperors for hundreds of years and the home of Mao Tse-Tung.
Unfortunately, on this day it was the home of untold numbers of tourists.
The next time we visit the Forbidden City, it will be a weekday in January,
then we'll have it to ourselves (maybe).
|TOURISTS APPEARING AS IF THEY
ALONE AT THE FORBIDDEN CITY
||ROOFLINES IN THE FORBIDDEN CITY.
WHEN WE HERE IN 1997, GRASS WAS GROWING ON MANY OF THESE ROOFS. IT
APPEARS THAT MUCH RESTORATION IS GOING ON AT THE CITY. CHINA HAS
ONLY 7 YEARS TO BE READY FOR THE OLYMPICS.