Forbidden City, Beijing – My favorite site of the day! At the time of Chairman Mao (we got a lesson in pronouncing this – Moh now Mowww), this city was closed off to civilians. Now, it is open for visitors, and much of it has been rennovated. It is a series of buildings and walls within buildings and walls…very beautiful. But, the only hope of knowing how far into the city we were was to count the number of dragons on the side of the roof – more dragons meant the building was even more special and closer to the center. The building with the most “harmony” had ten dragons on the side of its roof. Unfortunately, as we were going on the other end of the city (we walked through the whole thing), some of the buildings were going up and down in dragon count – completely threw me off.
Bird’s Nest, Beijing – The first stop of the day was a trip to the 2 buildings constructed for the recent Beijing Olympics – the Bird’s Nest and ‘the cube’ (natatorium). The story goes that, in China, it is believed that heaven is round and earth is square – so they built the bird’s nest round and the natatorium square for balance
Tiananmen Square, Beijing – The third largest public square in the world and the site of several important events in Chinese history – especially, in recent memory, as the focal point of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. We took pictures of the square, watched the guards, and then we went to the Forbidden City!
Pfizer, Beijing – Our fist company visit of the trip. We met with the Senior Director of Strategy and Business Development – an Emory undergraduate Business alum.
Beijing Night Market, Beijing – We topped off the night with the Night market. Scorpion anyone? Maybe a squishy silk worm, or a giant spider? Yuck!