1st October 2008 (2008年10月01日)

On the same morning we somehow realized that it’s the national holiday in Beijing. We thought – let’s go out to the masses! So we went to a place where we expected the most people crowded in one place. Suddenly it came up to our mind – Tian’anmen Square might be quite cosy for this intention. Seriously, it’s hard to describe it by words, but I haven’t seen so many people in one place so far. Check out the video of getting into the tube:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW1v5lYYjIM]

On the Square we experienced some celebrity status as everybody wanted to take pictures with us, especially with Felix who is with his almost 2 metres a unicum in China. 啊,很高老外!(A, hen gao laowai – Oh, what a tall foreigner)

As we could forget entering the Forbidden City that day, we decided to make our way to the Summer Palace, Yi he yuan (颐和园) where even more people spent their spare time. We met with a colleague of mine – of Vienna sinology studies – who is currently studying in Beijing. I appreciated this because he knows the city a little bit and therefore accompanied us. Some facts: UNESCO declared the Summer Palace a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design in 1998. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value (Source).

After that and a little snack, we targeted the famous Olympic Sights: the Water Cube (水立方) and the Bird’s Nest (鸟巢). I think any further comment on these sights is redundant – except: our famous “Olympic Sights Dance” as you can see on this picture. This place reminded of an open-door disco with some very loud music dashing through enormous speakers. Following that we went home and managed to get some extra bed for Rene in our room, because he didn’t have accommodation for one day before he left to Qingdao.

The next day the Forbidden City was on the plan. Entry follows!

At least 8.02 million people visited Beijing from September 29 to October 5, including 2.35 million overseas visitors, bringing in 5.25 billion yuan in tourist revenue, up 27 percent from the previous National Day holiday (Shanghai Daily).

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