|Olympic Village tower|
Crowds. Our first venue was the Summer Palace, in the northwest, where we got our education in queues and moving in crowds in China. The weather was nice and the place was teeming. It was not possible to avoid bumps and it quickly became clear that bumps were part of the experience. There was no shock or withdrawal or apology, just bump and move on. I have to admit that it does save time and reduces the potential for conflict.
Tiananmen. It's a huge square, flanked by the Monument to the People's Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China, and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong. There was even a large portrait of Sun Yat-sen, facing Mao's portrait across the square. Security was clearly present -- fencing, bag checks, cars, uniforms. In addition, it seemed to me that plainclothes guys were hanging around us from time to time, staring at nothing, but within earshot of our conversations. We'd been warned to be discreet.
|The Great Wall|
Pollution. The Summer Palace was under blue skies when we visited. Most of the rest of the time in Beijing, the sky was white, cloudy, and/or hazy. Even though the the skies were not sparkling, the vaunted air pollution was on vacation while we were there. There were still masks in use.
Flickr has an album of photos.