Beijing

We started our journey to Beijing by express train. The fastest in the world. With almost 400km/h we went from Shanghai through many provinces to the capital of China.

In the big metropolis with a good 21 million citizens and an east end to west end distance of over 200km, however, there is a somewhat calmer basic mood than in the vibrant Shanghai.

It is just the government headquarters of the Chinese administration.

Beijing is culture and history. The city’s facades are adorned with magnificent dynasty buildings – encased in super-modern skyscrapers and empirical political buildings.

TEMPLE OF HEAVEN

Temple of heaven – Tiantan Park

Here the great emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911) prayed for a good harvest.

Protected by a huge double wall, this area stretches out with three main attractions

  • Hall of the Harvest Victims
  • Hall of the Vault of Heaven
  • Hill Altar

to as much as 2.7 million square meters. 

Ergo even bigger than the forbidden city. Which has the background that the sons of heaven (emperors) were forbidden to build facilities that were larger than the earthly residence of heaven – the heavenly palace.

Together with the extensive parks, you may plan more time here.

I was especially impressed by the Hall of the Harvest Victims.

Pensioner sport in the morning

Here you can see many Chinese pensioners who meet every morning from 9am to play sports, cards or discuss.

 A truly great spectacle!

Here you can see people beyond the 70s doing gymnastics on high bars or doing a balancing act.

Physical health is a top priority here.

Our guide reported that there are almost no nursing homes in China and if there are, you can’t afford them.

The people in China prefer to stay fit and sprightly before they become a burden to the family.

Tian’anmen Square – Heavenly Peace Square

If you’ve ever heard of a big rally point or a national Monument was impressed by the size, you will definitely not get out of amazement here. This place is so huge and radiates a power that even the Russian government would wish for on Red Square.

With 440.000 square meters we have witnessed the largest meeting place in the world.

A good one million people should be able to be accommodated here.

However, only invited guests are tolerated at official celebrations.

The forecourt to the forbidden city is guarded very closely by the military and police.

Special attention:

A representative of the army, the air force and the navy stand on a raised pedestal in four-shift time and represent Chinese power. The boys are not allowed to move for four hours.

You can see a lot of proud Chinese tourists taking pictures under the only country flag printed with stars on the whole area.

Those who are hoisted or caught up with a military ceremony at sunrise and sunset.

Forbidden City

Directly on the opposite side of Tianenmen Square, after a nostalgic bridge crossing, the main entrance to the Forbidden City stretches out.

Many military guards stood here on the left and right of a line guarding the entrance.

With a little luck, you will experience the changing of the guard, as we did.

The soldiers marched through the masses with an ice-cold gaze to their post. Very impressive.

And now off to the forbidden city…

Why forbidden at all?

Well, another title of this „city“ is also Emperor palace.

Here the emperors lived until the 1940s with their entourage, the concubines and their family. And only these were allowed to enter the grounds.

And as you can already imagine, there were probably many uncles, nephews and concubines who all needed accommodation for themselves.

And the emperor himself wanted to have one or the other prayer room, strategy room, relaxation room etc.

And that’s why this area is once again very huge and magnificent.

What is there to see:

Beautiful architecture, stunning relics from over 1000 years of Chinese history and a backdrop that you will never forget again.

Hu-Tong´s

The Hu-Tong´s are Beijing’s traditional „poor quarters“.

As you might already suspect, families live here in a very small space and share toilets and washrooms with other families.

Many families rely on the youngest generation who should study and change the situation of the whole family.

In the Hu-Tong`s it is not dirty. Sometimes it smells a bit strange.

 There are many small shops selling food or drinks. Hairdressers, pubs and craft shops.

It seems as if you have your own little city in the middle of Beijing that exists independently of the metropolis.

Chinese Wall „Changing“

To see the Chinese wall once – a goal I had already had for a long time.

Now it has come true.

There are many sections of the Chinese Wall near Beijing.

Some more touristically developed, others less.

I.e. if you don’t want to walk, but want to take the cable car and go down again with the toboggan run, the touristically popular wall pieces are recommended.

But those who think that there is nothing going on at the other parts of the wall are wrong.

There is public traffic everywhere.

The wall is a magnificent building which has the same addiction. With a total of 26.000km and a continuous masonry of 2.500km near Beijing you will see here the largest section of the wall in the world.

If you look up, you realize that there is 45 degrees and more to overcome.

With handrails just 70cm high and steps up to 60cm „Challenge accepted“ is the best motivation to get to one of the horizontal mountain passes and enjoy the fabulous view of the largest building in the world.

How long will it take you to get to a horizontal pass?

With about 45 minutes I was well served and totally exhausted.

Remember: down there’s the same difficult way.

For all those who don’t like sports and suffer from pulmonary disease, I would advise you to take the section of the wall with the cable car.