The girls headed to the Olympic Aquatic Centre this morning. This has been turned into a water park with slides and rides. I'm not a big fan of heights so I left the girls to it and joined a couple of the boys for a visit to the Forbidden City.
Bicycles by the hotel.
This is the lake that surrounds the Forbidden City.
Spare copies of the portrait of Meo are kept after it was damaged during democracy protests in 1989.
There are lots of these statues around the City, in pairs either side of doorways.
Hall of Supreme Harmony. The older buildings in Beijing are all low rise. That is because for many years commoners were forbidden to build anything taller than this building.
It was a hot and busy day. As we walked through the City the buildings got closer together.
The buildings have been destroyed by fire a number of times. These large vats were kept full of water to help put out a fire. During the winter small fires were lit under them to keep them free from ice.
Hall of Middle Harmony.
You can see the modern city rising above the walls.
The Imperial Garden. This was my favourite part of the Forbidden City. The buildings were all empty and you could only look at them from the outside whereas in the Garden you could get a sense of how it was when the Emperor was in residence.
This is my favourite dragon - Mohican Dragon!
The Gate of Heavenly Peace. The southern entrance to the Forbidden City.
Great Hall of the People, on the west side of Tiananmen Square.
This is the Gate of Heavenly Peace from around the centre of Tiananmen Square. You can see how vast and open the space is. The Square is enclosed in a fence and to enter you have to pass through security and have your bags x-rayed.
The National Museum of China, on the east side of Tiananmen Square.
Monument to the People's Heroes.
Mao Zedong Mausoleum.
I only had time for a very quick walk in Tiananmen Square on the way to work. It was very peaceful in the sunshine, with groups of tourists milling around and police stood guard under umbrellas. Quite different to the image you have when the name is mentioned.