Our first tourist trip!!
After a few weeks we decided to venture out into the world of tourists, I kept thinking that we would go home and not been anywhere to seen anything. It just seemed to be work work work and that was not fun.
So on a Sunday we got up and I found how to get to Forbidden City and off we went - subway all the way. We were old hand by now jumping on and off trains but I had only been on Line 10 - and we needed to change to Line 1. Luckily the trains are well marked and signposted so ti was easy to find our way there. It was interesting, as there was so many people in the train and lots got out, but when we got to the gardens we had our first hurdle. Having to dodge scroll sellers, which is a constant thing here and very popular. The sad part about this was the painting were really good, but we didn't want the scroll and you just can't look at anything without the seller assuming that you want to buy it, very frustrating really.
Well we dodged that bullet and went into the East gardens - they were really lovely and so very peaceful. We kept wondering where all the people were - there were hundreds on the train, but none in the gardens. We looked at all of the buildings and gardens and just thought it was fascinating. Here we are in the middle of a city of 22 million and there is no one around and you can see the tall buildings but are surrounded by green - great really. At one point we found a tour group a managed to catch up with and listened to the spill about the gardens. It was interesting to be part of a large group and not be the only ones that stick out with blonde hair. We got around the corner and then found were all the people where - waiting to get into the Forbidden City itself and it seemed like a quater of Beijing was there. And just because the sun was shining and managing to get through the "fog" everyone had to have umbrellas out which just made it much worse!! We were then inundated with tour guides all offering to do the right thing and take up into the City - always for a special price!
We decided not to go into the City - just because the line up was over an hour and we couldn't have looked around very much because of all of the people. We went to the West Gardens and looked at them - they were just as nice but had more people in them. We then went out into the square and again found lots of the people......so many people. Tiernman Square holds over 100 000 people and it would seem to be full. It would have been great to actually find out how many people were there - but it seems to be a bit rude to just take random photographs of lots of people.
Overall I would say it was a great day out - we conquered the subway, found our way there, found lots of people, dodged scammers and then ended up having a great time int the gardens. The only thing is we will need to go back to the City at some stage and then actually go into the Palace..but that will be for another adventure!