I don’t start back to class until Monday. So this week I decided to spend a day learning about and enjoying Beijing. First, I went to the Capital Museum. It was free and worth a few hours. It is in a fairly new and very impressive building in downtown Beijing. They had exhibits about the history of Beijing (which apparently stopped in 1949), Peking opera, and folk customs of Beijing.
Then I headed over in Jingshan Park. It is directly north of the Forbidden City, and there is a large (for Beijing) hill in the middle that was built when they dug the moat out around the Forbidden City. Climbing this hill rewards you with a great view of the Forbidden City and much of Beijing. I had timed my visit for golden hour and sunset, since I knew I would get the best photos that way. I was not the only one with this idea; there were a whole bunch of photographers with their DSLRs and tripods taking photos of these scenes. I love this view because you get a sense of just how gargantuan the Forbidden City is and how gargantuan all of Beijing is.
Ancient pagoda and skyscrapers. The ancient and the modern rub up against each other in so many interesting ways in this city. I never tire of finding photos that give a glimpse of that.
I took this photo as the sun was setting. Somehow, because of the bright light hitting the camera I got this unique color. It is unusual, but I like it. The bird is a kind of magpie that is very common in Beijing.
This last photo is of the White Dagoba, which is actually in a different park. I don’t actually know what a “dagoba” is, other than that building and the Chinese name for it uses a fairly generic word for “tower.” It is on a very small island in the “north sea” of Beijing. It is really about the size of a large pond in Michigan, but it is still pretty. The sun setting behind Beijing’s western mountains isn’t quite as spectacular as the sun setting over Lake Michigan, but it was really quite lovely.