Sunday morning in Beijing and the sun was shining. Astonishing how one can feel after a good night’s sleep. Well rested we had a vegan breakfast with home-made spreads and then left for the Ming tombs. It was already an adventure to find the bus station at the Northern train station. no easy feat walking around and then crossing a multi-lane street to get to the bus station right underneath another bell-tower. But eventually we found the right bus no. 603 and got off at the beginning of the sacred way.
The Ming tombs are not grouped together but are just all in the same valley. So basically you can get off at the Sacred Way, walk along a long lane that is populated by silent stony animals and officials to then look for the different tombs.
With Babsi in the lead we followed the sacred way, then found easily the seven arches bridge but then made a short-cut and had to walk through the rough to get to first tomb. This was for sure not the official way to get to the tombs.
We did Dingling first. A tomb where you can actually go into the funeral chamber inside the grave hill. The tomb inside is enormous and cavernous. Why the Chinese leave money of the slab of stone I have no idea. I think in the red boxes the treasures were kept and in the bigger ones the corpses.
Look at the trees growing out of the walls. Really impressive!
The treasures were exhibited in the enclosed museum and were beautiful. But when I saw the exact same treasure also at the next tomb I figured they must be copies.
Our second tomb was Chang Ling which was even more in the style of the Forbidden City but since it was the same emperor, no wonder.
As you can see the air was not really healthy that day and Babsi walked around with her mask, looking like even weird to Chinese eyes. But while the air might have been polluted the view from the tomb was breath-taking.
Getting back into town wasn’t as easy as expected. First of all there was no bus. At least not at Chang Ling. So we took a cab which brought us to a metro station for almost no money. The metro was brand new and not even mentioned in the government issued guide-book. This guide-book btw is not great on information regarding the sights but is perfect for finding your way to them in Beijing.
With the metro we went straight to the Olympic Parc, a sight Sylvia as well as I have missed the last time we have been to Beijing. As everything in Beijing it was oversized and huge. On the other hand if I remember correctly it was full during the games. We saw the Bird’s Nest and the Aquatic Center, unfortunately still by light and therefore not illuminated but impressive nonetheless.
And then we already had to hurry because we met Lucy for dinner. This time we didn’t go to the fantastic noodle place but had a boring vegetarian hot-pot. The restaurant and the whole idea of the hot-pot was great, everything looked super fresh and tasty. But since Sylvia can’t abide the taste of meat in her soup, we all had vegetables. And that just doesn’t work for a tasty soup. Yours, Pollybert