Beijing -- April 1 - 5, 2006
We flew from Duluth to Minneapolis to Tokyo and then to Beijing, so Beijing was our first stop on this world tour.
The first morning, we walked from our hotel to Tien An Men Square. It was pretty foggy that morning. The large building here is the Great Hall of the People, where official government dinners etc, are held. We had dinner there in 1987.
We next entered a park next to the Imperial Palace Museum, thinking it connected to the museum, but it didn't.
The Imperial palace was where the Emperor and his large court lived. It was forbidden for others to enter and thus was also called the Forbidden City. It is now a museum. It is a very large area with many buildings, some of which are open and some contain special exhibits. There were lots and lots of tourists here; the majority Chinese.
I didn't take a picture of the Starbucks, which is just to the right of this picture. We had a cup of coffee there and saw that shop on 60 Minutes  after we got home.
Bronze Lions often guard the entrances to some of the buildings. The female is in the foreground with a cub under her paw. The male in the background has a ball.
This is called the 9-dragon screen. It has 9 dragons and is made of ceramic tiles.
A detail of the painting under the eaves of every building.
I couldn't decide which of these pictures to use, so put them both in.
After leaving the forbidden City, we walked back toward our hotel through this pretty park.
There were some bronze statues here depicting old and new China.
We found this restaurant advertised as the "Best Buffet." We had lunch here. It was like one of those really big serve- yourself casino restaurants, with many different areas with different kinds of food. Except for the roast beef and turkey, it was all Asian. This place was packed and we were the only non-Asians there.
A pedestrian shopping street near our hotel.
Another view of the shopping street.
The Lama temple in Beijing, built for followers of the Dalai Lama.
Another part of the Lama temple complex.
This street is just across from the Lama Temple. We walked down it to find a Confucian temple, but it was undergoing renovation.
This was our hotel - The Hao Yuan Jian Guo Garden Hotel.
This is the view from our room. Next year there will be another big building across the street. Beijing's streets are wider and straighter than those of Shanghai. And some even have separate bicycle lanes.
Up the street from the hotel, you can see a couple bicycle rickshaws here. There was a huge indoor shopping mall across the street.
Another view of the same street.
Next stop - Shanghai.
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