Pedaling from the Black Forest to the Yellow Sea
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Day 260 (China): Beijing (Forbidden City and trying to fit my life into a box)

A stroll into the Forbidden City they say is a must when you visit Beijing. They (who are they after all?) also say that you must visit the Great Wall. And I can see heads nodding in front of screens right now. But I have to disappoint some of you. It would have sure been pretty to see the Great Wall, but I decided that I would forgo the running around Beijing like crazy after this long trip and slash the trip to the Great Wall and take things easy.  Having said that however, the Forbidden City seemed like a good place to go. Especially after I had seen it from the hilltop to its immediate North. Its vastness is impressive and I did want to know what things would be like inside. Plus, it would give me the chance to see Tiananmen Square - which I wanted to see for obvious reasons. And this had nothing to do with its size, which is also impressive. But rather with events having taken place, say almost 20 years ago. On the brighter side of things, it also gave me a chance to snap the-picture-that-you-can’t-do-without:


And here is one without me in it …


The number of policemen is quite impressive here - these are only some of the guys that are visible. I am sure there are tons more that I have no clue about.


Here is where I met Jaakko, a Finish economist who had been working in Beijing on technology transfer and so we decided to tour the Forbidden City together. Its vastness that I could see from the top is equaled by an impressive inside. And all of this for one single person …

And there aren’t many hills, but the ones that are there - even these - you are not allowed to climb.

At night, it was all about packing up. I had intended for this to be a trial run, but in the end I decided that I would leave the bike in the box after all. It was all a very tight squeeze and I was about to give up at one point or rather at several points because it seemed that the box was simply too small, though I didn’t really think so. In the end, everything was fit into the box rather snugly. Which was good - because it means that things won’t move around all that much.


It was yet another step to wrap things up it seemed. An important one … and a bit sad.


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