Sunday, May 15, 2011

China Post #17 Beijing Backbone and Other Stuff

Beijing has long been the capital of China and because of this has a long history. The layout of the city is interesting. There are 6 or 7 ring roads that are centered around the middle of the city and roads that radiate out from there as well. The original city was built along the "dragons backbone" and this was continued with the Olympic Park. The park was built out beyond where the original backbone ended, but along the same line. The government than connected the new section in Olympic Park with the old that runs through many of the historic sights. Here is a first shot of the backbone in Olympic Park looking away from the city. Remember that the venues are split by this open walk through the middle.
You can see how the concrete is laid differently to define the backbone. This next shot is looking the opposite direction, towards the city from Olympic Park. You can see a temple or gate, I don't remember which at the end of the backbone. I believe that was the end of the original "dragons backbone".
Now, a shot from the back side of the Forbidden City overview park
You can actually just make out the communication tower in Olympic Park just to the right of the temple in the distance along the backbone. Which then means that this spot overlooking the Forbidden City also sits on the backbone. If you remember from the Forbidden City post where Dylan is hiding behind me as we overlook the City, there is a line of temple that run down the middle of the City. Those temples lay along the backbone as well.

The backbone in the Forbidden City is more prominent. It is made of large marble blocks and stone carvings as seen here.
Also, in the temple along the backbone are thrones for the emperor that are right on the backbone as well.
Then exiting the Forbidden City and making the walk to Tiananmen Square you have the picture of Mao and a flag pole right on the line.
As well as the monument itself which I've posted a picture of Linda in front of in a previous post. Beyond the Tiananmen monument is this building astride the backbone. This is Mao's tomb.
Naturally Mao's coffin lies on the backbone inside the building. Finally after walking around Mao's tomb you come to this wall. This was near the edge of the city long ago. It is hard to see in this shot but there is another temple in the distance right through the doors.
This was after leaving the Acrobat show on the first day in Beijing. You can see several people holding flags up, those are the tour guides. Then their flock all wears matching hats so that you can find your guide and they can see if anyone has strayed from the group.
So here I caught some canary's.
And some cardinals.
And finally some bluejays.
You know this system seems just fine and dandy except once you loose the group the hat and flag do you no good. Apparently one of the guides at the Acrobat show was talking about how they had lost a client at the Forbidden City that morning around 10 or 11 and had just found them by the end of the show at 6:30. Admittedly it would be very easy to get lost in the City. Also, I found a hat for one of the clients sitting on the ground up in the Overview Park.

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