stop & think

saturday is to stop and think!!

i recently found an article that presents 5 conspiracy theories that turn out to be true. in the past people who believed in these theories to be true were called crazy, wakos. what about now??

check the article i found here. but don't just read this one article, do a search and you will realised that this is true.

and this are only 5 that were made public, how many are there waiting to be confirmed??
it's a frighting thought.

however, as frightening that this thought may be, we have to start taking our heads out of our phones and see what it is really out there. and most of all, take action against people/ organizations/ governments that fill their mouths to say that they represent freedom, equality and  democracy and do exactly the opposite.



happy friday!!


asian adventure: easter weekend at beijing IV

so finally, the last post about beijing....who would've said that 2 and a half days would make so many posts??

because on day two we went so early to the great wall we also arrived relatively early to the city centre and we got the chance to go visit the lama temple known as well as yonhegong temple which means palace of heaven and harmony.
although this is a very tourist place, a fair amount of people come here to pray.

as other temples in china, this one was first the residence of the emperor's son while he was growing up, after he became the emperor himself, it was turned into a temple.

one of the attractions of this temple is the three bronze statues of the buddhas of the three ages, the buddha of the present (center), of the past (right), and of the future (left).
there were so many people praying in this builing also known as hall of harmony and peace that i couldn't take a proper picture of the three buddhas (lets face it, i didn't think it was fair to bother their pray just for another photo that I won't see ever again), but here is what i could capture:

enjoy some of other photos taken on the temple

on day three again we have decided to wake up very early (6am) to be able to see the most that we could before heading of to the airport (our filght was at 3:30pm).
and we were so good at this that we had time to visit the forbiden city, the winter palace (also known as beihai park), a garden next to the forbiden city (the one were people were pushing everyone to get in) and then the tianánmen square. it was an intense morning, we arrived to the airport around 2pm and we were starving. but as it is a quite small airport we had time to have our lunch and still go through security and all of that stuff.

the forbiden city it was a visit that left me with mixed feelings.
first, to go in we had to go through a massive security check, then inside (witch is not really inside) we bought the tickets and then we had to go again through security to finally enter the forbiden city.

let me see if i can explain the reason of my frustration:
the main entrance is done where the red circle on the map below and on the photo above, so far so good. we go in, buy our tickets and then we have to go through security again, that's on the green circle. this is where you actually enter the forbiden city. so we go in, we have a good time, we exit through the gate opposite the green circle right at the back. we visit the winter palace that it is just in front of the forbiden city exit.
on our way back to visit the tianánmen square that it is just in front of the main gate (red circle) we find out that people have been entering the premises through the gates with the blue colour and without any security check.

this have puzzled me and i still don't know the reason why of this. anyone that comes through the
sides don't have to go through the first security and it can walk around freely between the red and green circle

image from the webpage http://www.essential-architecture.com/CHINA/PEKING/PE-005.htm

oohh well, moving on...

inside, all the main halls, the ones that you can see on the main path, were close - it was a bit of a disappointment. without that to satisfy our curiosity, the plazas just seemed too big, so full of nothing. don't get me wrong, it looked grand and very imperial like but just too empty, and not of buildings or people, but of nature. all the space between the halls was just concrete.

the tour became interesting for me when we started to wonder on the sides. there you will see other buildings that were partially open, i.e., you could see inside without actually entering, but the best part was all of the vegetation and trees that made the place look amazing, full of life although it might not have a lot of people. it definitely look more cosy and pleasant to walk by.
but don't take for my word, check the pics below and let me know your opinion.

this tree is a sabina chinensis and the sign next to it says the following:
"with its splendid shape and great adaptability , the cypress is indispensable ornamental tree in traditional chinese garden. in perfect harmony with ancient architecture, it is live cultural heritage that can never be reproduced."

i have tried to do some research about this type of tree but my search engine in asia does not work properly and couldn't find anything relevant. if you do your own research let me know what you have found.

after the forbiden city we headed straight to the winter palace. you can see it from the forbiden city and it seems as the palace is sitting on the top of the trees branches. and when you reach the palace you have and amazing view over the forbiden city

after the winter palace it was time to go around the forbiden city from the outside and head to our next part of the tour.
it is a very beautiful walk back to the other side of the forbiden city.

the last visit of our journey was one of the most famous public squares in the world, unfortunately not for the best reasons.
we all have seen the photo of the student in front of a tank trying to stop it's advances during the students protests in this same square.

entering the square is another adventure, again you have to go through security check (metal detectors and all that stuff). can't figure it out exactly why. after all this is suppose to be a public square (at least you don't have to pay to get in).
the square is totally surrounded by a somewhat short fence and you can only enter the square through the authorized entrances - forget about crossing the road, there are guards everywhere.

in the photo below you can see in the front the monument to the people's heroes and in the back the mausoleum of mao zedong.

all of my frustration and comments about this city only shows how little i know about this amazing country and it's ways. if i would have studied and research a bit more before my journey maybe the outcome would have been different. definitely a lesson to learn here.



asian adventure: easter weekend in beijing part III

it was only a bank holiday weekend but we have decided from the beginning that we wanted to see and do as much as we could and I think we have completed our mission with success

day 1 we arrived at beijing airport around 3pm and after the check in we went straight to the tiantandongen temple, aka temple of heaven. we arrived there around 5 pm, paid ticket to go in and then we found out that we can only go around the park as to see the main buildings the last entrance was at 4pm. it was a bit of a disappointment not being able to see the hall of prayer and the imperial vault of heaven, but after he initial sadness we have realised the beauty of the park and we were able to take very good pics and most of all have fun.

photo from website http://www.incredipedia.info/2008/04/temple-of-heaven.html

one of the best things of being a western in china is the way we see things, the way the most normal things for the locals are so odd for us

for example, this lady was doing some streching on the park (you will see this in all the parks) but this particular one was so funny the way she was doing it. particularly on this take. what do you think of it??

or on this photo, the way chinese people are so happy to be close to a cherry blossom tree

on day two we went to the great wall of china, or as my dear husband call it, that big big wall :p
as we were on a schedule we decided to go to the part of the wall that it is closer to beijing - badalling. the other part is called mutianyu and it is further away from beijing and less crowed for the same reason. when i was researching this, i found out that this part of the wall alows you to ride a tobbogan. check this video on youtube, it's wicked https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvv1frWim1E

so that you have an idea how far this is, we woke up at 5.30, leaved hotel at 6am, arrived bus station by 6.30, catch bus immediately and arrived to great wall bus park at 8.30, by the time we bought the tickets and got through the gates and the went on the pulley to take us to the wall it was 9am. it took us 3h from door to door. and this to go to the badalin part. to go to mutianyu you have to allow 2h30 just for the journey from the city centre to there.

bare in mind that the buses although they are normal size like in europe, for some reason in beijing they take 2+3. forget about room for your legs, there is no room for shoulders :p

but you know what?? it's totally worth it!!

one of the best things of walking up and down the wall is that after wards you get to ride again the pulley, and this time is way more fun - it's like a mini roller-coaster

on the way back to the bus we have noticed that there were a cow and a camel on the shops area. we thought it was a dummy just for photos, but know. that´s the real think, for photos. it's kind of a depressing view though, having this animals so far away from their habitat to pose for photos. there were also bears like you would see in the zoo, but with not so good facilities

i'm getting a bit hungry right now.i know for you it's only 5am but for me it's lunch time, so i will tell you about the rest on the next post :))

lots of love