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October 13th 2011
Published: October 13th 2011
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Red Lanterns for National Day HolidayRed Lanterns for National Day HolidayRed Lanterns for National Day Holiday

Red lanterns were hanging throughout the city to celebrate this national holiday.
Hi Everybody!
In this blog, I am going to let the photos tell the story. I am starting with the train from Ulan Bator. The landscape changed many times as we traveled across the Gobi Desert to Beijing.
Walt thought that it would be better if I published the blogs for Beijing and Tibet after leaving China. The Communist government blocks many internet sites including Facebook, Firefox, newspaper sites, and many others. The people are very kind especially the service workers that you come in contact with at hotels, restaurants, etc. Yet, these people have a fear of their superiors, the police, the military, etc. They do not want to be the center of attention. Sometimes, they would not take a tip if their supervisor was watching but would gladly take it in private. Police and soldiers were everywhere. We realized that we stood out and tried to behave! haha One of the guides told me that there were many men like FBI agents in street clothes mixed in the crowds.
The week that we visited Beijing was a holiday week for Chinese. Red lanterns decorated the streets as the Chinese celebrated National Day (all week). Children were out of school
Lady from NepalLady from NepalLady from Nepal

This lady was on our tour to the Great Wall. She had a 3 yr. old son who spoke 3 languages including English.
and many parents were off work. This meant that at least 40,000 - 50,000 tourists (many from other Chinese provinces) were in town visiting historical sites. It was very crowded! The population of Beijing is 20 million.
Beijing is very modern (updated many of its facilities for the 2008 Olympics) and very old (3000 yr. old city.) Skyscrapers are modern with lots of glass and new designs. Many of the old buildings are 800 years old.
Take Care,

Additional photos below
Photos: 45, Displayed: 23


Chinese Bride & GroomChinese Bride & Groom
Chinese Bride & Groom

I took this photo in the lobby of our hotel, the A Hotel in Beijing.
Dragon Boat at Summer PalaceDragon Boat at Summer Palace
Dragon Boat at Summer Palace

The grounds of the palace cover 750 acres. 75% of the gardens are covered by this lake. We rode in this boat across the lake.
Hall of Happiness & Longevity at Summer PalaceHall of Happiness & Longevity at Summer Palace
Hall of Happiness & Longevity at Summer Palace

The Summer Palace is 40 km outside Beijing. The Emperor went here in the summer months to escape the intense Beijing heat.
New FriendsNew Friends
New Friends

We met this nice couple at a cafe outside the Silk Market. They are from Austria. Peter is a pilot and Astrid is a stewardess. Astrid worked as a nanny for several years in the Va Highlands area of Atlanta.
Heavenly Gate to the Forbidden CityHeavenly Gate to the Forbidden City
Heavenly Gate to the Forbidden City

We are standing in Tiananmen Square.
Soldiers on Tiananmen SquareSoldiers on Tiananmen Square
Soldiers on Tiananmen Square

I made this photo from the top of the Heavenly Gate. You are not suppose to photograph soldiers or police. I just couldn't resist one picture.
Tiananmen SquareTiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square

One million people can stand in this square at the same time. This is where the pro-democracy demonstrations were held in 1989.
Mao's MausoleumMao's Mausoleum
Mao's Mausoleum

This is at the center of Tiananmen Square. Mao is in a crystal casket and is raised from his refrigerated chamber daily for public viewings. Long line & not worth it to me.
Main Entrance to Forbidden CityMain Entrance to Forbidden City
Main Entrance to Forbidden City

This is one of the few pictures that I have. Right before getting on the Dragon Boat at the Summer Palace, I must have dropped my original camera card (with 1400 pictures on it) when I swapped out the card. I was lucky that I had saved previous days' pictures on my Netbook.
The Bird's NestThe Bird's Nest
The Bird's Nest

This is the National Olympic Stadium for 2008 Olympics. Next door to it was the Water Cube. I didn't get a good photo of it.
Worker's StadiumWorker's Stadium
Worker's Stadium

This is one of the smaller stadiums that was used in the 2008 Olympics. It had huge statues of athelics around it.
Many Steps at the WallMany Steps at the Wall
Many Steps at the Wall

The problem with the steps wasn't just the number but the fact that many were as high as my knees. It was really tough going up them.

15th October 2011

What a great trip you two are having. We are enjoying every blog. The pictures have been really good. Be safe and continue to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime trip!

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