My last week in China was mainly spent in true tourist style, ambling round places like the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven, in complete wonder and awe at these magnificent structures and their painstakingly detailed features (taking a total of 204 photos in 5 days). I don't think my descriptions of these places would do them justice, but there was a distinct sense of grandeur about all of them that I've never quite come across before.
|The Hall of Supreme Harmony|
A short walk from the north side of the Forbidden City is Beihai Park; (I assume) it's most famous for the White Dagoba, a Buddhist temple, which has been built on the highest point of the island in the lake (which covers more than half of the park). There were still lots of decorations up in the park marking the 15-odd days of the Spring Festival. It was a fairly tricky walk up to the dagoba, the snow had left a treacherous layer of ice on many sets of stairs and during the descent I did wonder if I'd make it out the park alive...
...but I discovered a few days later that, actually, the Temple of Heaven was definitely the most dangerous of all the places I'd visited, since many of the stairs were made of marble and ended up being incredibly slippery in icy conditions. They'd been covered with a sort of string mesh to provide more grip but even this mesh ended up freezing itself into the ice, so I found myself silently praying to the gods of the Temple to allow me to live beyond that particular day.
|Imperial Vault of Heaven|