So my first main post is about the forbidden city. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a map of Beijing but basically it’s made up of ring roads and the forbidden city is located within the second ring road and is the ancient centre of the city. It has quite a cool name that deffo makes you want to look inside.
My initial impression upon arriving was ‘Jesus there’s a lot of people here’ but it probably didn’t help that we went there on a weekend in the summer holidays. Firstly we had to queue for about an hour to get through security to Tiananmen Square. Then we had to queue and go through security to get through the gate, and then subsequently had to queue about another 8 times. I don’t think I’ve actually ever been through so much security.
The city itself is amazing. It’s comprised of 9999.5 buildings (I’m not sure how you have .5 of a building but who am I to question it). The architecture is stunning, the buildings are painted red with impressive and intricate patterns in the ceiling in vivid hues of blue and green.
You get lead through gateway after gateway of courtyards surrounded by these buildings, until arriving in the centre, where you can choose which was to go in order to view all the different temples.
After about 3/4 of the way, we went inside some of the buildings (it was quite strange, you were hardly allowed in any) to go and look at some of the jewels in the palace collection.
They had some absolutely fantastic pieces. Headdresses weighed down with precious stones in many vibrant colours. Huge plates and ornaments made out of gold. It really reinforced how wealthy these dynasties must have been.
After we had made our way through the city, there is a small hill you can climb with another temple on the top that provides stunning views.
I have such a massive respect for the women that did all this in heels (there were a few), because my feet killed by the time I’d been round all that.