China Day 1 – The Forbidden City with a Side of Noodles…

First Full Day in Beijing. 4 AM and We’re All Up.

Just in Time for Breakfast. The Poly Hotel has an Incredible Buffet Breakfast. Included with the Room. Offerings of Chinese Delicacies and Everything Else. We are the only ones in the dining room. It’s That Early. 🙂

Get Ready for an Incredible Food Overload…Since I couldn’t possible Eat it All, I was going to at least Try to Photograph it All. The Presentations are Lovely with Each Dish Carefully Labeled.

Let’s Have a Fresh Start with Melons.

Move on to Dumpling and/or Noodle Soup…

Or Have Both(!) Miss Doodle 2 can’t wait to duplicate these recipes at Home.

And Rice Congee. My Favorite. Sweetened with Maple Syrup.

Pastries. Breads. Sweet Rolls. Every Shape, Swirl and Size.

Crazy Diversity in Food…

French Toast. A Tad Wimpy for My Taste. But a Decent Effort.

Soy Sauce Hard Boiled Eggs. Actually Delicious.

Baked Beans. New England Style. I think.

Topped with Yards of Sushi.

Ready for the Forbidden City? Palace of the Last Emperor, Pu Yi.

The Forbidden City really was a City. Created solely for the Emperor. In Photos it looks like a large open-air walled arena capped with a palace that surveys the scene. This is how the City begins. But it was built in layers….one after another. For Miles. For Security of the Emperor. As you enter each area, you proceed closer and closer to the Emperor’s family living spaces. You Know you’ve reached the intimate inner circle when you see the Yellow Roofs. Only the Emperor had Yellow Roofs. It is magnificent. It is ancient. Security is Tight. Passports are scrutinized before entering. A little unnerving but we are fine. Just Bundle Up and Follow the Rules.

The Shoppes along the route to the Security Check Point dazzle with Chinese History and Culture.

Chairman Mao. Perhaps a Little Large for the Carry On. But Dazzling.

And Then Finally…Entering The Forbidden City. With Temperatures hovering at 10 Degrees F, the Crowds are Thin by Chinese Standards. Normally, Walking in the Forbidden City is Shoulder to Shoulder. Traveling in January does have benefits. The Air is unusually Clear. Some Blue Sky. Today is a Good Day to Take In the Sights and Learn the History of China.

Frozen Moats of Thick Ice remind you this really is a Guarded Palace.

The First Layer Comes Into View. We have No Idea what is to come.

Lion Guards at every Gate. This One a Female with Baby Under her Foot.

Slowly Peeling Back the Layers. One Staircase at a Time.

Love these Doors. With Paintings of Warrior Gods for Protection.

And the Sculptural Stone Relief between the Steps. Solely for the Emperor.

Steps for Everyone Else. Dragons Included.

Twirling Warms the Body and the Soul.

Suddenly We are the Photography Subjects.

Closer and Closer We Inch to the Emperor’s Private Living Quarters. There’s the Yellow Roof.

And the Gold Lion Guards.

The private gardens are lovely even in January.

A Pagoda Temple for Prayer and Reflection. Just for the Emperor.

Each Threshold has a barrier step to stop evil spirits. We Made it Through.

But Frozen Solid. Time for Steaming Bowls of Noodles.

With the Lunchtime Crowd.

Ahh…Delicious.

Wow! Hello Jet Lag. And Beautiful Magical Memories.

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