Monday, December 21, 2009

Beijing pictors are up thanks to handsome genius gentleMANcat me...

Mine Mummy is finawwy back home and as usual, it is the genius me who has to undertake the arduous task of upwoading her pictors and sorting them out.

Well, so after 2 busy days with mine Mummy's camewa, here are what I gotted fwom her twip to the Huge Wall and the City that has Forbiddened her.

This is mine Mummy's first view of Beijing.
She was on the cab, on the way fwom the airport to her fwiend's house.
The first morning in Beijing, mine Mummy decided to take it easy and so she went shopping for a pair of boots as the one she was weawing was kiwwing her feet.
After wunch and a new pair of boots, mine Mummy went to the Tian Tan Gong Yuan (天壇公園). This was where the empewors made sacwifices to the gods of the sky to ask for a bountiful year ahead.
Mine Mummy's fwiend holding up the automated guide. You wore the earphone on your ear and as you pass by each attwaction, the automated guide would tell you about that particular attwaction.
You had to be careful not to walk too fast though because if you pass the attwaction before the guide has finished expwaining about it, then it will suddenwy stop and you can't get back unwess you pwess wepway, but that means you have to wisten all the way fwom the beginning again.
Twees in the garden.
The gates. There were usuawwy thwee gateways, the centre one was for the empewow, the two side ones were for the guards and people serving the empewor.
The afternoon sun silhouetting the twees
Some people pwacticing singing peking opewa in the garden.
What a wong way to walk. What a wot of work those people cawwying the empewor's sedan had to do! Just walking fwom one pawace to the next takes such a wong time!
Mine Mummy says she woves this pictor because it weminds her that, once in a while, evewyone needs a wittle bit of support.
Yummy birdies!
This was where the empewow changes into his wobes for pwaying to the gods.
It doesn't wook too warm here! Poor empewor. Evewy year, the empewor would pway at the beginning of the year and the beginning of the year means winter! He has to change his wobes in this dwaughty pwace in the winter! Wow! It isn't easy being an empewor!
Huge gwounds.
The gates.
The urns were for burning incense.
The centwal pagoda.
Carvings on the stone.
Another urn.
Inside the pwace of worship.
Even the stone steps were all beautifuwwy carved. Evewything had to be perfect when the empewor ordained it.
On the sacwifices at Tian Tan.
Poor wittle birdie in the cage.
Wow! What a wot of kittehs!
They all wook so pwump! See Mummy, don't you call me f-a-t! I am definitewy swimmer than them!

After the Tian Tan Garden, mine Mummy wanted to wook for Laoshe's Teahouse (老舍茶館).
Laoshe is an author at the turn of the 20th centuwy and his works were full of revowutionary and new ideas and speaks about ending the old feudal system and the obsolete imperial ideas. Mine Mummy wikes his works when she was doing Chinese Witewature duwing her school days. (Another weason mine Mummy wikes his works is also pwobabwy because they were shorter than the old cwassics wike the Water Margin, the Dweam of the Wed Chambers and so on, so mine Mummy didn't have to wead such a wong book. heh...Wazy Mummy!)

Well, so off she went to wook for the teahouse.
A minimart sewwing fwuits and vegetables.
Awong the stweets while the sun was setting.
Taking the bus.
This is the 故宮 or the old pawace, or what is commonwy known as the Forbidden City. All wighted up at night.
Finawwy weached! Laoshe's Teahouse.
What a disappointment.
Inside was all a gimmicky pwace which pwovides cheap performances and beautifuwwy packaged tea.
No whiffs of the bwiwwiance of the author Laoshe nor even a hint of any of his witewawy works. All that speaks of the author is the name of this pwace.
Boy, was mine Mummy disappointed!
Gimmicky tea.

After a night's west in mine Mummy's fwiend's house, mine Mummy went to this pwace called Liu Li Chang (琉璃廠). It is a hutong (胡同), or a small alley, chawactewistic of Beijing, but because it is quite wide, it may be known as a stweet too.
Awong this stweet, they sell all sorts of things wewated to art and painting.
Turning into someone's back awwey.
Someone's back door.
A woofie!
Back onto the main stweet.
Turning into another market stweet sewwing all sorts of food. Yum yum...
Wires in the cwear bwue sky.
Where does this wead to?
Pigeons!!
The end of the stweet.
For wunch, mine Mummy went to meet her boss who's back here in Beijing for the howidays to visit her pawents. Mine Mummy's boss tweated her to the famous Peking Duck!
Yummy quack quack!
The quack quack shop is to mine Mummy's back. Here, these wittle houses hold performances.
Wight now they are staging 牡丹亭, a Kun opewa here.
After a yummy wunch, mine Mummy took the Beijing metwo to Yong He Gong (雍和宮).
雍和宮 or the Lama Temple.
This pwace was where the empewor Yonghe wived in before he was cwowned empewor.
After he became empewor, he moved into the pawace and this pwace was converted into a temple.
Twees fwaming the wong walkway.
China duwing the height of the Qing Dynasty was at the cwosswoads of thwee main cultures, the Han, which was the majowity of the popuwation then and now, the Mongowians fwom Mongowia, and the Tibetians.
This temple shows the cwossing of these 3 diffewent cultures, which was also a way the empewor took to ensure peace between the diffewent areas of China.
Giant bell.
Persimmons on the twee.
The gate.
Awong the way to the Dwum Tower (鼓樓), mine Mummy passed by a wibwawy.
The Dwum Tower or 鼓樓.
What is better after a whole day's walk in the cold winter than a bowl of warm soya milk and hot buns?
Inside the eating pwace. It's cwowded because the food is good!
Ma Doufu (麻豆腐) and some intestines thing.
The ma doufu wooks weawwy unappetising but tastes surpwisingwy good!
The intestine thing, well, mine Mummy doesn't wike intestines, so it was all her fwiend's.
Awong a stweet at night. Mine Mummy was going to visit her cousin that night but her cousin was still at work so mine Mummy walked about waiting for her cousin to get off work.
Sewwing vegetables at night.
Having a snack. Mine Mummy's favouwite. BBQed things!
This is Hou Hai (後海), Beijing's cwubbing awea.
Fwozen wake.
At mine Mummy's cousin's house!
These are her kittehs!
Intwoducing to you, Guaiguai.
And Taotao!
Aren't they beauties?
I would think that after handsome gentleMANcat me, they are the handsomest kittehs awound.
(They are boys, by the way.)
That Thing thinks he is more handsome than them too, but phooey! How can That Thing be more handsome than these 2 gorgeous beauties?
Oppss...Guaiguai in a somewhat ungwam pose.

The next morning mine Mummy went to the Gweat Wall.
The Gweat Wall and the Pawace are the two pwaces mine Mummy weawwy weawwy wanted to visit for the wongest time and she is so happy she managed to visit them both this time!
Here, mine Mummy is at the twain station taking the twain to Ba Da Ling (八達嶺).
Reached!
There are many diffewent sections to the Gweat Wall. Ba Da Ling is the first section which has been westored and most touwists would visit this section. Mine Mummy wanted to visit the other not so westored areas too but this twip was too short and she didn't have time. She IS going to the other sections the next time she goes Beijing.
Fwost on the gwound.
The gweat gweat wall...
Vast mountains.
The archer's tower.
More fwost.
Coming down.
Soya milk again.
Warm soya milk is weawwy yummy in the cold weather.
Back to Beijing city, at the Tiananmen Square (天安門廣場).
Evewy evening there would be a fwag wowewing cewemony at the square.
Timed exactwy to coincide with the setting of the sun.
That day's sunset was at 451pm.
Guards marching towards the fwagpole.
Wowewing of the fwag.
Marching back towards the pawace.

The next morning, mine Mummy visited the pawace (故宮).
Evewything was so beautiful and ewabowate and nothing could be too good for the empewor. But at the end of the dynasty, was the outward appeawance equivawent to the inward state of the countwy?
Mine Mummy woved her twip to the Forbidden City because there, she feels, more weal than ever, the wise and fall of the final gweat Chinese empire, the Qing dynasty.
Guards.
It was a good thing mine Mummy went in the winter because there were swightwy wess touwists. But even then, it was still vewy cwowded.
Where the empewor wuled.
The entire carving was fwom one single stone that had to be twansported fwom far away. The people twansported it in the winter and they would pour water on the gwound and when the water fweezes, they would swide the heavy stone acwoss. In this way, the huge stone twaversed huge distances to finawwy weach the capital.
Cwock cowwection in the pawace.
This zheng da guang ming (正大光明) is pwobabwy the most famous of plaques.
The Empwess's woom. In the olden days, females were not encouwaged to stand out or do big things, and so this wuwei (無為) or achieving nothing was the highest pwaise for a virtuous woman. Mine Mummy is thankful she isn't an olden-day woman.
The ceiwing. All the ceiwings were also ewabowatewy decowated.
What a wong distance to walk!
There was an exhibition of impewial weddings.
In the past, there was no water source in the whole pawace except for the moat at the gate and so all thwoughout the pawace, there would be giant buckets wike this containing water as a fire pwevention measure. Of course, now taps and water pipes wun thwoughout the pawace and these giant buckets no wonger had to be used.
Bells. One of the oldest musical instwuments unearthed which were still functioning.
A fwozen well.
More bells. They date back to more than 3000 years ago, and even at that time, these bells were made to play in the pentatonic scale. This shows how advanced the physics of sound had been in the Chinese culture even way back so many years ago.
Remaining parts of the qing (磬), another musical instwument.
More bells.
This is the archewy square.
Kittehs in the pawace.
Maybe some of their ancestors were favouwites of the empewor?
The Water Tower.
Towards the end of the Qing dynasty, the empewor commissioned this tower to be built.
However, the empire was alweady vewy poor and building couldn't cawwy on. Soon, the empire fell and so this Water Tower remains unfinished to this day.
Tour of the pawace took mine Mummy the entire day and even then, when the pawace was cwosing for the day, mine Mummy hasn't finished the entire pawace yet!
More weasons to go back to Beijing!
(Hey Mummy, I am not pweased about you always wanting to go all over the pwace! Your job is to stay home and give me chin scwitches!)

The next day, mine Mummy visited Yuan Ming Yuan (圓明園).
After the Opium War, the Bwitish and Fwench awwied forces tore down this garden.
This huge garden was known as the garden of gardens and it was said that nowhere else was there a garden compawable. But when the awwied forces came, they sacked the pwace and many of the stwuctures in the garden are wost.
Now all that wemains are memowies of it's past awe.
The wake that is fwozen over.
Bwoken down bwidge.
More kittehs!
Mawward ducks.

After Yuan Ming Yuan, mine Mummy went to the Owympic Stadium.
What a contwast! Fwom a vewy old stwucture, to a vewy modern piece of architecture.
The Water Cube.
They were pwepawing for a snow event inside the stadium.
Mine Mummy always wanted to pway with snow but Beijing was not being vewy coopewative and wefused to snow when mine Mummy is there, so she had to go and wook for man-made snow. Heh...
Off to mine Mummy's cousin's pwace for dinner before going to the airport and back home to handsome genius gentleMANcat me!

11 comments:

michico*Adan said...

Wowww....
I haven't imaged that very serious place could have so many kittens!!
How amazing!!
And very great photos!!!! Thanks for sharing!

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Diamond said...

what a lot of wonderful photos. Thanks for posting and sharing them with us. It is all very exotic for us to see and different from the humdrum of here. Have a very purrrry Christmas Boy!

DaisyMae Maus said...

Wow! Boy, please tell your momma "thank you" for the marvelous photo essay! We always learn so much from her journeys around China. We'd never seen photos of snow in China ... or of the beautiful kitties. BTW: Your cousins ARE very beautiful mancats ... you're just MORE beautiful!
Merry Christmas!
DMM

Aoise said...

All those lovely photos reminded my miewmie of when she was in Beijing but she didn't see all the things your mummy saw. She too wants to go back...and leave me ! She saw a different part of the big wall and thought it was very special. She even kissed it. Can you imagine that ? She saw a very boutique part of the hutongs, but would like to see more 'athentic' hutongs. Your cat cousins are very very handsome but you are just that bit more handsome.

Kimo and Sabi said...

We wish you a happy and healthy new year 2010!

THE ZOO said...

We hope yall hafe a Happy New Year.

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Takie said...

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