Earlier: A totally intense day. We walked at least 15km around downtown Beijing. First to Behai Park to enjoy its serene skyscapes. Then it was a half hour trek to get to the Holiday Inn to claim sanctuary. Luckily, they could accommodate our request and we scheduled our check-in for July 31. Thank god – only one more night at the Wanch Inn.
Next stop: The Forbidden City. It is ENORMOUS! Mike kept saying, “Wow I can’t get over how big this place is.” Each time I would chime in saying, “It’s called a city for a reason!”
Second, the names of all of the spaces that comprise the City – “The Palace of Prolonging Happiness”, “The Hall of Union”, “The Palace of Earthly Tranquility” and “The Hall of Supreme Harmony”. I don’t know whether it was a shift in mindset or a mere coincidence but something about The Hall of Supreme Harmony helped restore my internal balance and definitely encouraged greater harmony between Mike and I.
The last gate of the Forbidden City leads you to Tiananmen Square so that’s where we went. Very intense. There was security at every entry into the Square. Also located in the Square is Mao’s tomb – a memorial to Chairman Mao in which his frozen body is on display to all who wish to see it. Since the Mao-sicle was closed (it is only open between 8am and 12pm) we called it a day. Plus my feet hurt and after 15km, I didn’t see any need to push it.
So back to now: Food, foot rub and bed is in order. And may I say, I have never been so excited to check into a Holiday Inn.