Forbidden City

My apologies for the slow bloggage. There are two good reasons: the Internet connection here in China is iffy at times and I'm pouring my energy into the performances (twenty last week at one school, an exception from the usual 16 per week). 

I was lucky when I arrived in Beijing. The weather was good and pollution was low. As the week went on, the pollution got worse. I'm so glad I got to visit the Forbidden City when it was a good day. Here are some pics from that beautiful site. 

 Obligatory picture outside the gates.

Obligatory picture outside the gates.

 Not only are there lots of people touring the site, many of them have selfie sticks.

Not only are there lots of people touring the site, many of them have selfie sticks.

 All of the buildings are beautiful. 

All of the buildings are beautiful. 

 I love the details, including the gold figures on the eaves.

I love the details, including the gold figures on the eaves.

 The gardens of the Forbidden City were lovely (and slightly less crowded).

The gardens of the Forbidden City were lovely (and slightly less crowded).

 These ladies were rubbing this special tree for good fortune and (I think) prosperity. They then smoothed the luck over their heads. I followed suit.

These ladies were rubbing this special tree for good fortune and (I think) prosperity. They then smoothed the luck over their heads. I followed suit.

 Not a lion but one of the  nine sons of the dragon  in Chinese mythology.

Not a lion but one of the nine sons of the dragon in Chinese mythology.

 Speaking of sons of the dragon, here is another.

Speaking of sons of the dragon, here is another.

 Throughout the grounds, there were huge vats, used for firefighting. These are the massive handles.

Throughout the grounds, there were huge vats, used for firefighting. These are the massive handles.

 Here's Alberto, my friend and tour manager, in the garden by a tree that has an unusual arch.

Here's Alberto, my friend and tour manager, in the garden by a tree that has an unusual arch.

My first full day in China was fascinating. After we toured the Forbidden City, we wandered through a nearby neighborhood, stopping for some dumplings. Then on by subway to a proper lunch at a restaurant. 

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From there, we went to Walmart (yikes!) to pick up a few things. It had some items I've never seen in a US Walmart.

 Fresh live crabs.

Fresh live crabs.

 Dried mushrooms in bulk.

Dried mushrooms in bulk.

 Duck. No, I didn't have Peking duck while I was in Beijing.

Duck. No, I didn't have Peking duck while I was in Beijing.

More blog posts on the way, Internet connection allowing.