Wednesday, January 30, 2008

forbidden city

Finally, after a detour to the White Dagoba we reached the Forbidden City. Unfortunately, we only had a limited time before it closed, so I rushed the girls to the Imperial Garden--the area where I really wanted to see as part of research for my book. So it was a whirlwind of a visit--we whizzed through while I called out bits of info from my guidebook:

like how we were walking on one of the 5 marble bridges that symbolized the 5 cardinal virtues of Confucianism:

and that I thought this was the Gate of Supreme Harmony, but I wasn't entirely certain.
but I was sure this was the way to the Imperial Garden:

Which was correct! Because here is the Pavilion of a Thousand Autumns...or maybe it's the Pavilion of Ten thousand Springs? 

I had no idea what this was, but it was very impressive.

However, this, we learned by an informational placard that is the Marble Carriageway--a ramp carved with dragons out of one single piece of marble, and reserved only for the Emperor.
Having learned one bit of information, it was time to go.

Outside, soldiers were running drills and we knew it was better not to try to do something forbidden in the the Forbidden City.

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