John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Tuesday 24 June 2014

[Monday 23 June 2014]

4* The Landmark Hotel, Beijing
Day 13, Beijing (B/L/D)
In the morning you will visit the unique Temple of Heaven, China’s largest existing masterpiece of ancient sacrificial buildings. The afternoon is left at leisure to relax and explore the city in your own time.

Day 175 2 Kings 4; Mark 5
The elbows continued very sensitive: painful to put pressure on in the night, and to use flannel and bath-towel for showering. The right thumb also felt really quite sore today. The redness and swelling had spread to the lower digit. Janet wrote: “I just couldn’t sleep. [John] did. I was ages getting off and I’d had very little sleep again when the alarm went off at 8am. We went for breakfast then set off in the coach at 10am.” Max was our “Coach A” guide today. First stop was the Temple of Heaven.





Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 10:43:46
Visit to the Temple of Heaven, Beijing


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 10:47:34
Visit to the Temple of Heaven, Beijing


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 10:49:14
Visit to the Temple of Heaven, Beijing


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 10:52:36
Visit to the Temple of Heaven, Beijing


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 10:55:18
Visit to the Temple of Heaven, Beijing


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 10:56:38
Visit to the Temple of Heaven, Beijing


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 11:00:40
Visit to the Temple of Heaven, Beijing


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 11:00:40 (detail)
Visit to the Temple of Heaven, Beijing


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 11:00:56
Visit to the Temple of Heaven, Beijing


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 11:01:18
Visit to the Temple of Heaven, Beijing


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 11:05:20
Visit to the Temple of Heaven, Beijing


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 11:12:10
Visit to the Temple of Heaven, Beijing


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 11:12:24
Visit to the Temple of Heaven, Beijing


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 11:12:34
Visit to the Temple of Heaven, Beijing


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 11:15:32
Visit to the Temple of Heaven, Beijing


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 11:18:14
Visit to the Temple of Heaven, Beijing


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 11:22:14
Visit to the Temple of Heaven, Beijing


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 11:24:54
Visit to the Temple of Heaven, Beijing


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 11:27:26
Visit to the Temple of Heaven, Beijing

We went through a covered corridor and passed people playing mah-jong.


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 11:33:24
Visit to the Temple of Heaven, Beijing

In addition to the majority Han Chinese population, there are 55 other ethnic minority groups. Before we left the park in which the Temple of Heaven is situated, we saw some people from one such group, Muslim, dancing.




Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 11:39:52 (movie screen-capture)
Dance of a Muslim minority people-group

I availed myself the toilets in the park. In all public loos throughout the China trip I was exclusively one “that pisseth against the wall” so didn’t experience the squat toilets as Janet was forced to on more than one occasion. In this loo there was a choice.


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 11:44:32
Choice of toilets: squat


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 11:44:42
Choice of toilets: seated

From there we went on to Tiananmen Square.




Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 12:12:46
Visit to Tiananmen Square: Old railway station, now a railway museum


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 12:13:54
Visit to Tiananmen Square


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 12:18:44
Visit to Tiananmen Square


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 12:19:06
Visit to Tiananmen Square


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 12:19:22
Visit to Tiananmen Square: mausoleum of Chairman Mao


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 12:15:26
Visit to Tiananmen Square: mausoleum of Chairman Mao


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 12:29:52
Visit to Tiananmen Square


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 12:30:38
Visit to Tiananmen Square


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 12:32:14
Visit to Tiananmen Square


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 12:35:00
Visit to Tiananmen Square


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 12:41:10
Visit to Tiananmen Square: Gate leading to the Forbidden City


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 12:46:14
Visit to Tiananmen Square


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 12:47:38
Visit to Tiananmen Square

After that Max led us down steps into the subway crossing the wide road, for our visit to the Forbidden City.




Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 13:03:56
Visit to the Forbidden City:
The Gate of Heavenly Peace (Tiananmen)


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 13:04:08
Visit to the Forbidden City

We entered through the iconic gate (“iconic” i.e. because it features a lot in pictures of Beijing), and it seemed to me that there was a series of gates then courts that we passed through. I didn’t realise that this gate was the eponym “Tiananmen” (“Heaven+Peace+Gate”) of the square. If Max told us I must have been otherwise occupied with photos. I thought at this point that we were entering the Forbidden City. I didn’t realise, till I was writing this in August and looking it up on the internet, that the “Forbidden City” proper is the walled and moated part entered by means of the Meridian Gate (see 13:28:18, and more particularly 14:18:04 and beyond).


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 13:05:42
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Entering the Gate of Heavenly Peace


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 13:07:24
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Looking back at Tiananmen Square


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 13:09:10
Visit to the Forbidden City:
On to the Gate of Sedateness


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 13:12:32
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Entering the Gate of Sedateness


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 13:13:08
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Gate of Sedateness


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 13:14:34
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Looking back at the Gate of Sedateness


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 13:16:52
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Gate of Sedateness


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 13:17:14
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Gate of Sedateness

We waited for some time in the vast courtyard after the second gate for the “Coach B” party, but when they didn’t appear we moved on. (Perhaps Max phoned Steve, their guide — I don’t know.) We didn’t proceed through the next gate (in fact, the Meridian Gate, the actual entrance to the Forbidden City); we turned right, passed under a smaller side-gate and entered the restaurant beyond it. The “Coach B” people were already there.


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 13:28:18
Visit to the Forbidden City:
The Meridian Gate, entrance to the Forbidden City


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 13:28:26
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Turning aside to the right for lunch


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 13:29:22
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Heading for the restaurant


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 13:59:02
Visit to the Forbidden City: Lunch


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:10:28
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Janet with Harry and Paula


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:13:34
Wall of the Forbidden City


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:14:08
Moat and wall of the Forbidden City


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:14:20
The structure at the far right of “14:14:08”

After lunch, Max led us through the Meridian Gate.


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:18:04
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Meridian Gate


Image from Wikipedia
Meridian Gate as it would have appeared if most of it hadn’t been covered up


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:21:32
Visit to the Forbidden City: Entering the Meridian Gate


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:29:20
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Meridian Gate from the other side


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:31:20
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Golden Water River with five bridges


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:31:44
Visit to the Forbidden City


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:32:10
Visit to the Forbidden City:
The Gate of Supreme Harmony


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:32:24
Visit to the Forbidden City


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:32:40
Visit to the Forbidden City


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:32:50
Visit to the Forbidden City


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:37:32
Visit to the Forbidden City


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:37:58
Max explains…


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:38:24
Max explains the significance of the five small animal figures on the eaves.


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:42:40
Max explains the significance of the raised step on the threshold.


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:45:24
Nine small animal figures


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:45:24 (detail)
Nine small animal figures


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:45:34
Seven small animal figures


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:46:16
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Golden Water River


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:47:42
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Going through the Gate of Supreme Harmony, the smaller gate on the right side


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:50:00
Visit to the Forbidden City:
The other side of the gate, looking east


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:50:10
Visit to the Forbidden City:
The other side of the gate, looking west


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:50:22
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Harmony Square, west side


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:50:32
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Hall of Supreme Harmony at the north end of Harmony Square


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:50:40
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Harmony Square, east side


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:51:04
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Hall of Supreme Harmony


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:51:18
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Ten small animal figures on each of the eaves of the Hall of Supreme Harmony


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:53:14
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Harmony Square, east side


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:56:40
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Hall of Supreme Harmony


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:56:52
Visit to the Forbidden City


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:58:06
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Hall of Supreme Harmony


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 14:58:20
Visit to the Forbidden City


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:00:16
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Through the gate to the right of the Hall of Supreme Harmony


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:00:30
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Hall of Preserving Harmony (left)


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:00:48
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Gate to the right of the Hall of Preserving Harmony


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:01:48
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Gate to the right of the Hall of Preserving Harmony


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:04:12
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Hall of Complete Harmony


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:04:28
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Gate to the right of the Hall of Preserving Harmony


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:07:22
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Looking back at the same gate from the far side


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:07:46
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Gate of Heavenly Purity


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:07:46 (detail)
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Gate of Heavenly Purity


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:09:46
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Rear of the Hall of Preserving Harmony


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:10:56
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Gate of Heavenly Purity


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:11:44
Visit to the Forbidden City


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:12:28
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Wall to the left of the Gate of Heavenly Purity


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:15:46 (movie screen-capture)
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Through the gate in the wall to the side of the Gate of Heavenly Purity…


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:17:32 (movie screen-capture)
Visit to the Forbidden City:
…through a second gate farther along…


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:18:14
Visit to the Forbidden City:
…along a passage…


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:18:54
Visit to the Forbidden City:
…along a passage…


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:20:02
Visit to the Forbidden City:
…and left near the end through a gate in the wall


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:22:16
Visit to the Forbidden City


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:23:06
Visit to the Forbidden City

Before leaving the Forbidden City by the north gate, we visited the Imperial Garden, a feature of which was the now-familiar practice of having natural rock formations as quasi-sculptures.


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:35:48
Visit to the Forbidden City:
The Imperial Garden


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:37:02
Visit to the Forbidden City:
The Imperial Garden


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:38:16
Visit to the Forbidden City:
The Imperial Garden


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:40:52
Visit to the Forbidden City:
The Imperial Garden


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:43:10
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Leaving the Imperial Garden


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:44:00
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Gate of Divine Might


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:47:20
Visit to the Forbidden City:
View north of the Forbidden City


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:47:28
Visit to the Forbidden City:
View north of the Forbidden City


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:55:44
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Moat and corner of the Forbidden City


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 15:55:52
Visit to the Forbidden City:
Moat and corner of the Forbidden City

From the north of the Forbidden City we were taken to a place where Chinese teas and tea-making were demonstrated. (This wasn’t merely for our education in Chinese tea culture, it was to encourage us to part with cash for their products.)


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 16:23:50
Entering the building for a demonstration of Chinese teas


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 16:26:22
Demonstration of Chinese teas


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 16:33:08
Demonstration of Chinese teas


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 16:38:58
Demonstration of Chinese teas: When the vessel was hot the pattern turned black.


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 16:40:14
Demonstration of Chinese teas


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 16:42:34
Demonstration of Chinese teas


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 16:49:18
Demonstration of Chinese teas


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 16:51:26
Demonstration of Chinese teas


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 16:55:14
Demonstration of Chinese teas: I just missed photographing the little boy peeing.


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 16:58:26
Demonstration of Chinese teas: When the vessel was hot the pattern turned black.


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 17:00:44
Demonstration of Chinese teas: The inescapable visit to the shop


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 17:01:50
Demonstration of Chinese teas: Interesting decorative feature in the shop


Tuesday 24 June 2014 — 17:02:30
Demonstration of Chinese teas: Interesting decorative feature in the shop

The coach finally deposited us at the hotel ca.5.30pm. “I was exhausted,” Janet wrote. Nevertheless, and despite the heat, we first walked out of the hotel driveway, turned right along the street lined with various shops (passing a blind beggar) and right again where there were still more shops. I needed batteries for my camera, but didn’t see any on the shelves. Pointing with four fingers into the camera I indicated that that was what I needed, and the man rummaged in a drawer and presented me with a pack of four. We also bought a supply of water. In the hotel room, Janet unpacked what we would need. Copied 124 photos and 36 videos from my camera to the WD Elements HDD (18:19–18:27). One of the photos was from yesterday, taken after I’d copied the rest, so I transferred it to yesterday’s folder.… Rotated those of today’s photos that needed it (18:36–18:41). The yellow-orange exudate from the right thumb was unsightly, even though it was securely held within the dressing, so I changed the dressing before we went down for dinner. I got Janet to cut an iodine patch for me. Actually the ulcerated part didn’t look as bad as last time I looked. The actual site of the cut sustained in the accident with the light “bulb” appeared to be completely healed. “All I’d eaten all day was melon at breakfast,” Janet wrote, “and really I didn’t want dinner as I was so tired. Fortunately, it was at 7pm and within the hotel complex.” The hotel site comprised of the hotel proper, apartments adjacent to it, and beyond them on the ground floor the restaurant where tables were reserved for us. “I managed some plain rice and a bit of beef and mushroom,” Janet wrote, “and returned to the room as I couldn’t face any more.” I stayed and ate my fill. I wasn’t keen on the company, though, for when I did open my mouth I felt that the reply bore a hint of “slight” or “put-down”. Janet went to bed ca.9.20pm.… Went to bed ca.10pm.

[Wednesday 25 June 2014]



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