Today we visited the Temple of Heaven…a UNESCO World heritage site and considered one of the architectural masterpieces of the world. It is completely built with tight fitting wood only and no nails, and was built by the same Emperor that built the Forbidden City, painted blue for the God of Heaven. The Emperors used to come here twice a year to pray for a good harvest for the people. Now it is a beautiful park, over 4 times bigger than the Forbidden City, and amazingly, older citizens come here to hang out all day long. they say the elderly get too lonely at home by themselves so they come here to exercise, do tai chi, dance, crochet and knit, play games, and be together. I never saw a happier bunch of elderly people hanging out the way kids do at the mall. It was very cool. I cracked up when I saw one group of women playing a game that looked like Mah Jong tiles, but they had English alphabet letters on the tiles, and you can see one woman had a cheat sheet for English words!
They are feeding us like there is no tomorrow…everyday it’s a 12 course banquet style lunch or dinner, or a giant buffet in the hotels. I keep telling myself I’m not going to eat that much, but when the food comes, it’s all so interesting and different, you don’t want to pass it up. I asked our guide if he was going to be feeding us like this the whole trip through, and he said , “Of course! You’re on vacation!”
A few more photos of roof tiles…I’m just fascinated by them.
We are off to Xian…terra cotta warriors tomorrow…