After the situation with Walmart Beth and I headed over to the Forbidden City. At USU I took Asian History classes, I've read many Chinese books fiction and non-fiction about the Ming and Qing dynasty. I've been fascinated by that time period for a long time and the thought of being able to see the Forbidden city brought butterflies to my stomach. Pure excitement. Mark had told me that if someone approached us outside saying that they could be a tour guide for us and if it seemed reasonable, to take it. A woman approached Beth and I outside the East wall and her fee was a good price and her English was very good. Her name was Rosemary and she knew her stuff. I don't know if you've seen the movie "the last Emperor" or not but there is a scene towards the beginning. PuYi, the last Emperor goes running out of one of the big halls out to where all the Eunochs and guards are and they are all bowing to him and it's in this huge open area.
That place was amazing. The whole area is more than 7.4 acres. Even though I loved seeing those grand area's, the carvings,the Lion's and the big buildings. It was when we got to the outer courts and saw where the concubine's and the Emperor's living quarters, that I really enjoyed the tour. There were less people, it was cooler(that day was very hot)and it more interesting. We saw more of what their every day life would've been like. The tour ended in the Imperial Garden. It was the only place that you felt that the last Emperor (who was chosen to be the Emperor when he was only 2) had a place he might have been able to run around in a be a kid. It was beautiful. It was one of the most peaceful places I have been to here in Beijing. It was a nice end to the tour. Rosemary was a great guide. I felt like one of my dreams had come true. To see the Forbidden City was up on my top 10 list of things I want to see in my lifetime. One down 9 more to go. I went again with Mark a few days later. We didn't get a guide and we took our time. We started out at the Imperial garden, which was a nice way to start it. It was fun to see it with Mark. We took our time, we'd stop, take photo's(of course), have a drink, sit in the shade(again a hot day, but beautiful blue sky),eat a bit. Just nice and relaxing.