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Friday, October 28, 2005
Beijing - Day 3

Today was Tianamin square and the Forbidden City. We walked to the square from our hotel which was quite a bit further than it looked on the map. We found out the map was not quite to scale!

I guess China is still very protective of the Tianamin square gates. They wouldn't let us in with anything but a camera. You had to check your bags at the gate which was a bit creepy. I had left our passports and paperwork in my backpack since I really didn't want to let them out of our sight, but it all came back in one piece, thankfully.

The Forbidden City is amazing. And huge. They really cared about harmony back then! The Hall of Supreme Harmony, The Hall of Preserving Harmony, etc, etc. And then you have the Gate of Earthly Tranquility, the Palace of Heavenly Purity, The Hall of Heavenly Peace. They really didn't want you worrying about anything while you were there! We took the audio tour which was great. I don't know why anyone would pay $50 a person for a tour guide when we got a great tour for $25 total and did it at our own pace.

After that Mike dragged me around town looking for food. I think we walked another 5 miles. My legs are killing me! I have done more hiking today than I have in a long time.

We had a bit of excitement when we got back to our room. We couldn't find the remote to the TV anywhere. We looked all over the room and finally called the front desk. (We only get 3 English stations, 2 of which are news so I'm not sure why we really cared!) Well the hotel sent up someone to "help us" which meant asking us about it disappearing, then sent a man who brought a remote, turned on the TV and left with the remote, then sent a maid to search the room, then sent THREE maids to search the room and then finally brought us a new remote. We really hadn't been trying to start a national emergency! We just wanted to watch a little TV! (The TV wouldn't turn on without the remote or we wouldn't have bothered!)

Take care!

Ramona