Sunday, November 15, 2015

Beijing - Temple of Heaven and a Few Thoughts

After we found our way out of the Forbidden City, we took a walk down the street looking for a toilet and some water. I will refrain giving you a description on the public facilities I used. Suffice it to say it was probably the worst I had ever used in my entire life. 

We bought some water, hailed a cab and set off for our next destination: 

THE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN - I was expecting the structure, what I wasn't expecting was the beautiful public park that surrounded it.

Unlike the Forbidden City, it was not overly crowded and it was a peaceful haven in the hustle and bustle that is Beijing.

As we came upon the plaza where the Temple complex is located I was surprised to see not one, but three wedding shoots taking place among the crowd.

The buildings on the complex were beautifully painted, like most of the temples I have seen in Asia.

I am always amazed by the beautiful painting and art work in the sacred shrines.

The big fad in wedding photography in China is to do a professional Model Shoot in well known or exotic locations. These brides and grooms will pay $10,000 to $30,000 US Dollars to rent beautiful gowns, suits and tuxedos and traditional Chinese, Mongolian or Ethic costumes. Then they travel to far away places and pose like models.

The finished product looks like something that would grace the glossy pages of Vogue Magazine. 

This shoot was taking place on the steps of the Temple.

The more money daddy has, the more gowns, costumes and locations are used. 

The finished product is one or maybe two, very large, hard bound, Glossy photo albums that could be pictures from a fashion magazine. (My good friend here in Ordos had 4 gowns, 1 traditional Mongolian costume and 1 traditional "Western" wedding gown. The shoot was inside a beautiful mansion in Shanghai, a three hour plane ride from home. She and her fiance' were there for 3 days and she has 2 beautiful books. The cost was over $20,000 USD.

Another shoot taking place on the portico of the East Annex Building

A distance view of the Temple of Heaven.

One of the entries to the gate near the Temple complex.

The west Annex

The East Annex 

The hall of prayer for a good harvest.

We enjoyed reading about the buildings and what they each were used for or stood for.

We spent another hour or so wandering the beautifully manicured gardens and parks in the complex. It was such a pleasant way to spend our last day in China.

I really, really want to grow roses like this one.

and this one.

I always love seeing happy babies and children. This little guy was trying to talk to me.

Our hotel was 1/2 block from the Beijing Railway Station. It didn't seem to matter what time of day or night it was when we went by the station, it was always crowded and bustling. Below is 8:00 p.m.

And about 9:30 p.m.

 This picture was taken about 9:00 on a weekday morning. 

These happy guys were making people smile on the street near the center of town.

Tuesday August 18th, we are very ready to go home to Idaho!

It has been a wonderful 15 months. I am so glad we had this wonderful opportunity to live and work in China. Good-bye for now to Inner Mongolia and the Middle Kingdom.

Pray for China!

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