Sunday, September 14, 2008

Burnt Offerings

Today we had a bit of a late start but in the long run it all worked out fine. It allowed Ankit and Jason (guys that Mark works with) the chance to get out of the office and go sight seeing with us. First we took a taxi to eat at Old Beijing Noodle. The food was yummy, even the alien looking fish with small shrimp coming out of it's mouth. I think our waiter was a bit bugged by us, oh well. We ate, we paid, we left. We walked to the Temple of Heaven which was very near. It was massive. It covered a space of 640 acres, or 1 square mile. We didn't see the whole area even though we were there for 4 hrs.
The Temple of Heaven was used by the Emperor as an animal offering Temple for hopes of good harvests. I'm not describing it very well. If you want to read about it I'm sure you can get a much better description online somewhere. There were a few things that really stood out to me and took my breath away. The first was how many trees there are on the grounds of this Temple. I'm surprised that through time,pollution and just plain old disregard for nature that there are so many. I'm not very good at guessing but if I had to I'd say there are well..... A LOT! More than I have seen outside of just nature, row after row, after row. When you are in a city of pollution, major high rises and more and more buildings than you can imagine, to see that many trees cared for is very impressive. The second thing that took my breath away was the Hall of prayer for good Harvests. The Hall sits on a three-layered white marble round altar. The marble is rough and worn from the weather and it's beautiful. There were other things that were beautiful but those two things jumped out to me the most. If you look up the Temple online most likely the Hall of Prayer for good Harvests will be the photo they show. It's supposedly the most famous temple in the world? Mark got some great photo's if you want to check them out on flickr. It was a great (hotter than I would've liked it to be)day!

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