Again, the weather was unbelievable cooperative. 
Instead of a heat wave, we found rain and fog (mostly fog).  After standing in an orderly and
quite line of thousands and thousands to view the Mao mausoleum (yes, he’s in there, under glass)
we headed for the old imperial palace.

The (Not-So) Forbidden City

We found that by
the time we hit Beijing, we were a bit glazed by more Ming and Qing architecture and temple-like
structures. A wildly overpriced frozen coffee from Starbucks (yes, you read that right) revived us a
bit and we tackled some excellent exhibits within the palace museum
including some absurdly complicated clocks made in England and France in the 1800’s and given
to China as gifts.

Forbiddendoorway_1. . .Forbiddendoorway2_2. . .Forbiddenkid

The private quarters of the palace were fun though – lots of more intimately sized corridors
and courtyards and a great garden in the back.


The Summer Palace

The following day, we headed for the outskirts of Beijing to check out the palace into whose
renovation the Dowager Emperess Cixi funneled money intended for the Imperial Navy at the end
of the 19th century.

Palacewalk. . .Admiringthepalace. . .Wetcourtyard


It is truly lovely, even in a steady drizzle.

The Wild Wall


Last, but far from least, we boarded a tour bus bound for JinShanling – a semi-restored section of
the great wall about 110 km to the north east of Bejing

We hiked the 10 kilometers hiked from JinShanling to Simatai


It hasn’t all held up equally well or been equally


Here, it’s barely wide enough for me to walk on it. Mac went around.


Pretty cool, though.


Look, wildlife!