Thursday was dedicated to the legendary Forbidden City, which is located in the heart of Beijing and houses the Palace Museum. This sight mainly served the Emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasty starting from 15th century. It took us (Felix, Raphael, me) quite a while to get in there. Even we raised a new denotation, serving as the superlative of ‘crowded’ – ‘Forbidden City-crowded’! This was the first time when I actually thought how anybody could enjoy these world heritages under this condition. After getting pushed through the Forbidden City exiting in the north, we walked to the Beihai Park (北海公园, Beihai gongyuan) lying northwest respectively. In former days this place even was connected to the Forbidden City and counts among the biggest largest parks in Beijing. One literally outstanding thing of this sight is the Bai Ta, which is a 40m high sculpture wholly made of white stone (Source).
In the evening Felix and I were invited for a traditional Beijing Duck dinner by Madame Cai and her lovely daughter. I got to know the generous Madame Cai during the Hometextile fair in Shanghai while I was supporting the LFS in my internship. She told me, whenever I make it to Beijing, I can get back to her offer. Finally we ended up in a restaurant which is very famous for its Beijing Duck dishes.
On Friday we first met the Belgium guys Diego and his brother Jean-Baptiste and we showed them the Silk Street Pearl Market. Originally Felix and I planned to spend the whole day in this fake market. It turned out that we really could make it for 9 hours there and in the end even had to buy a suitcase to get all this stuff home again. We only stopped by at Lisa’s Taylor, where Felix received his 17 tailored shirts. Following that we had some nice dinner at an Australian Steak House at the Workers Stadium and went to the amazing club VICS directly afterwards. On Saturday, after having a really too short week in Beijing, we first tried to get all of our purchased stuff in the suitcases, and went to the Capital Airport to get to Shanghai again.
All in all for me the Beijing trip was a long awaited dream coming true and therefore I enjoyed the few days very much!
As the flood of pictures we took in Beijing isn’t manageable on this blog I hosted them on picasa, which is a fantastic service of google (for those who don’t know yet). Moreover I’ve introduced a new link-category called ‘picasa web albums’ where you can easily access ALL the 北京 (Beijing) pictures and even further albums of my China experience.