I know, I know - China was so last month! I have photos from Portugal, but unfortunately I brought neither power adaptor nor computer cable for my camera, so those images are still waiting to be processed. But here are some images from famous places in Beijing that I visited for the first time, or that I have not visited in 10 years. The first is the Temple of Heaven, conveniently located near my hotel (the one I stayed in after I returned from Singapore). I call it the "Great Cookie Jar," because to me it does kind of look like a cookie jar. Plus, it's the place where the emperor and his retinue used to go to pray for good harvests. This building, the most famous Temple of Heaven building, is actually the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests.
I went to the Beijing Zoo for the first time ever to see the pandas. The pandas were not too exciting, but the firefoxes were adorable. You have to click on the cut to see the firefoxes....
I also went to the Olympic "Green," which is completely paved over with concrete, to see the Birds Nest and the Water Cube. The site is pretty easily accessible by the new subway system. When I was last in Beijing (in 2005) there were two subway systems, and now there are 13. You have to think that the subway has transformed the lives of ordinary Beijingers for the better. At the Olympic Green you can go into the Bird's Nest (aka "National Stadium"), but sadly the Water Cube is closed for renovation.
Peking Opera or Some Variation
In the Temple of Heaven park, which is quite lovely
Detail of the Temple of Heaven
Back Gate to the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests
Cuter than the pandas.
They reminded me of the cats.
Tiger in a cage
Don't worry, he has a nice tree-and-rock area to roam around in too.
Birds Nest Detail
Inside the Birds Nest
Ah, Squat Toilet, I did not miss you
They make them on the street near the Temple of Heaven