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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Beijing - The Temple of Earth


The Temple of Earth is situated North of The Forbidden City, and is one of the four main Temples of importance to the Emperors.  The Temple of Earth was originally used for sacrifices, and is built in a square plot, which to the Chinese represents Earth. 


We arrived at the park at about tea time, paid our entry fee, and decided to look round The Earth God Worship House before going to see the 'Earth Mound'. 


The Earth God Worship House holds many interesting items, I loved the animals above


and the dragon handles on what I assume are bells.


Looking up the once glorious ceiling is now looking very weathered, but beautiful none the less :)


A beautiful rattle drum, the dragon decoration symbolizes the Emperor's power.


The Rattle Drum is suspended from a central post, at the base of this are four of these amazing animals, probably Foo dogs (Guardian Lions)


A beautiful pot, yellow and gold are the Emperor's colours, they are my favourite colours too.


I was especially pleased to see these items, they are usually seen on the roofs of Imperial buildings, to see them close up was a real treat.




A wonderful dragon on a golden roof tile,


These are two of the animal ridge tiles seen on the corners of important buildings, with the lead man on his mount. I was thrilled to see these close up, as I find them fascinating :)


Phoenix carvings.


I am not sure of the importance of these duck like animals, but I liked them :)


Dragons on these, I think they were instruments of some sort, they are suspended on ropes, I imagine they were struck with a gong or something similar, but I am not sure.


A mobile throne for the Emperor, he would have have been carried almost everywhere in a throne like this. Note the Emperor's golden covered cushion :)

When we left the building we walked across to the entrance to the main area of the Temple, only to find that that area was just about to close! So we didn't get to see the square Altar :( It looks like I shall just have to go and visit my daughter again and make sure I get to see the central part of the Temple.

However the beautiful park that houses the Temple was open much later so we had a lovely cool walk, and we sat and had a lovely rest and watched the world go by :)


I love these round doorways, when I see them I wonder if Tolkein got his idea of Hobbit Houses having round front doors from these gateways in China?


There were beds of glorious peonies in the park, this was just one of them, a perfect bloom.


Another gorgeous marble bridge.


We were lucky enough to see some blossom still on the trees.


So pretty :)


Finally a view across part of the Temple grounds,  this was the Apothecary Garden.

The Temple of Earth was certainly worth a visit, the park is a lovely peaceful place, not at all crowded, with beautiful flowers and trees. I would like to explore more one day :)

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Beijing Revisited - Beihai Park


The photo above was taken in 2011 on my 
first visit to Beijing, I also visited again in 2014 as well as this year. The park is very large at 171 acres, so you can imagine there is plenty to see.


On our first visit to the park back in 2011, we had our lunch in a lakeside restaurant, which was amazing. On both my 2014 visit and this one the Restaurant had closed!! We had walked from the Forbidden City which is only 10 minutes walk away, and we were hungry and thirsty, luckily there was a Restaurant nearby which was full, but we bought our food and sat in a beautiful little Pagoda to eat our food. Looking up we saw this gorgeous ceiling. So much attention to detail in an open Pagoda in a park, amazing :)


More decoration from inside the Pagoda.


We decided to walk right round the Park, where my daughter had told us that there was another Nine Dragon Wall. We had already seen the Nine Dragon Wall in the Forbidden City that morning, but it was lovely to see this one too. This wall had dragons on both sides, unlike the wall in the Forbidden City and, like the Forbidden City Wall it was amazing. I love those dragons :)


My friend Sheila busy taking photos of the Wall.


Even the roof of the Wall has dragons on it :)


As we walked round the Park there were lots of lovely little Pagodas, beautifully decorated inside and out.


Marble walkways everywhere, as befits a former Imperial Garden. The park has been open to the public since 1925, and is one of my favourite places in Beijing. Sadly this time all the Lotus plants appear to have been taken out of the water, they made a beautiful sight last time I was here.


The photos are not the best quality sadly, there was a lot of smog on our visit this time, and, although the smog didn't worry us too much it did affect the photos.


A beautiful little marble bridge.


Another amazing ceiling in one of the buildings, with a Dragon looking down on us :)


I think my daughter said this is a boat restaurant, but I am not totally sure.


Another view of one of the lovely building bordering the lake.

More about Beihai can be seen here:
 http://poppysplace-poppy.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/beihai-park-beijing.html and here:
http://poppysplace-poppy.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/beihai-park-beijing.html

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Beijing revisited, The Forbidden City


We had a fabulous time in Beijing, it was so lovely to see my daughter, and everything was new to my friend, so, although we visited places we had been to before, we saw different parts of those places.


Our first day there was very busy, we started off at The Forbidden City, where I found this statue :)


The Treasure House is now open but it was very busy, so I only managed to get a few photos. I am not sure what this is but it was amazingly beautiful.


The fact that this shell had been used as a base for this piece of 'treasure' fascinated me, this would look lovely sitting on my dressing table....hahaha.


I love these painted corridors :)


Marble sculptures, the artist who sculpted these had an amazing  talent.


Each of the two pieces above were carved from a single piece of marble.


There are some very pretty little courtyards now open to the Public, they were so peaceful, and lovely to see as it gives a more homely view of the City. I could easily imagine members of the Emperor's Court living and relaxing in these beautiful places.


Golden roofs with animals :)


Such beautiful ornamented roofs, looking as if the buildings were built one on top of the other, which isn't the case.


Another little hidden courtyard, I love the pierced screen...


...where you can peep through to more secret areas :)


Such ornate buildings, I think this was the Opera House.


The roof of a tiny Pagoda in one of these small courtyards, the various colours of the roof tiles made this look so lovely.

I certainly saw different parts of the Forbidden City on this visit, it was lovely exploring quiter areas, and seeing the pretty little courtyards. My previous visits to the Forbidden City can be seen in my blogs of August 2014 and June and July 2011 :)

It was getting on for lunch by the time we had walked round, so we decided to walk along to Beihai Park and have lunch in the restaurant by the lake, so Beihai will be my next blog :)

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Ramsgate Harbour, Kent


Ramsgate Harbour is the only Royal Harbour in the UK, and is a lovely place to walk round on a sunny day, which is just what my friend and I did in March.


Beautiful boats in the Harbour, and a lovely blue sky to go with it :)


I wonder where some of these boats were going to sail to next?


The Harbour is very busy and picturesque, and is well known for being one of the embarkation points of the 'Little Ships' , the fleet of small boats which crossed the Channel in June 1940 and played such an important part of the evacuation of Dunkirk during WW2. Just under 43,000 men passed through Ramsgate Harbour after being rescued from the beaches of Dunkirk. Those men must have been so happy to see the harbour!


This photo shows the steps up to the promenade, the building in the centre of the photo is The Sailors' Church and Harbour Mission.


Inside the Sailors' Church, the models at the back of Church are beautiful :)


Looking towards the Altar, such a pretty little Church.

The Harbour today is full of privately owned boats and yachts, and is still an important harbour.


We decided to hove our lunch in the local Wetherspoons, which is housed in the former Casino. We were lucky enough to get a table by the windows, this was our view, lovely to see from inside, as you can guess there was quite a wind blowing that day :)


The waves crashing against the Harbour Wall....


....and crashing together to make brilliant photos. the photos have really come out well considering they were taken through glass :)


Lunch over, we went out onto the terrace, this photo taken looking North towards Broadstairs and Margate.


Just one last photo of the amazing waves :)


Finally looking towards the Clock Building from the terrace, the first time I have seen this building from this angle. It now houses the Maritime Museum.

We both enjoyed out visit to Ramsgate, especially as good food was included :)