A Walk through the Forbidden City

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Home to emperors, home to history is the Forbidden City. Constructed in the 1400s, the City feels almost centuries older. It was used primarily during the Ming to Qing dynasties as an imperial palace but now is one of China’s popular tourist spots.

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When I walked through the first gates, I was immediately amazed at the magnificent colors and somber spirits of the architectural feel. Then we walked through the second gates and my amazement continued to grow. It wasn’t one of those places where the more you stayed, the more your became numb to the beauty – just the polar opposite afterwards.

Basically, we traveled through gate after gate and all I could manage to stutter was “Again? There’s more?”.

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Our tour guide informed us that there’s a duplicate of the Forbidden City that is used for movie and drama scenes. The actual Forbidden City itself has only been used once, on a very special occasion, for a movie called “The Last Emperor”.IMG_2327

A picture of me when I’m sleep deprived.

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On the topic of new and old, there was recently a controversy around having a Starbucks at the Forbidden City. This Starbucks building was later closed down in 2007 after a stay of 7 years.

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Attention on the uneven layering of the ground. One of the things we were repetitively told was to “Watch our step!”. And despite following these wise words carefully, I still slipped countless times and made a few embarrassing tumbles. IMG_2337

More beautiful colors of China. The palace was freshly repainted during the 2008 Olympic Games – maybe even another coat since then, after all these colors are terribly vibrant.IMG_2341

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Mhmm the crackled texture. IMG_2356 IMG_2362 IMG_2367

This little boy was standing alone at the exit to the Forbidden City. He looked (more than) a little lost as waves of tourist whipped by each second. I hope he was able to find the people he was looking for! 😦

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Across from the Forbidden City was a tall hill one could hike up. After defeating the endless set of stairs, we were rewarded with this beautiful view of the city.  IMG_2373

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