Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ritan Park and Sunset

Ozark climbing wall at Ritan park in Beijing

A few weeks ago we took a walk down to Ritan park in the late afternoon to see what was going on.

Other than people like us out for a stroll most of the action was at the climbing wall.

Ozark is a Chinese brand. I don't normally think of the Ozarks as a big mountaineering destination but maybe all the cool mountain range names were taken.

This guy scurried right up the wall to this point. He had obviously done this before.

He pulled himself right over the overhang and up to the top.

Climbing isn't for guys only - there were more than a few women there, also.

Yellow rose at Ritan park in Beijing

There were some nice roses in the park.

Ritan means Temple of the Sun. There are 4 ancient parks on the 4 compass points with the Forbidden City in the center. To the south is the most famous - Tiantan or Temple of Heaven which I have written about many times. To the north is Ditan or Temple of Earth. To the west is Yuetan or Temple of the Moon. You can figure out the location of Ritan.

There was a small group of dancers getting some exercise.

This is a pond and pavilion that I have posted pictures of before. See this posts for the scene in spring.

Spring in Beijing
Ritan - Spring 2013

Beautiful sunset in Beijing

We had another beautiful sunset a few weeks after the other one I wrote about.

This is mostly just unusual. Margot had never seen a purple sky so she snapped this picture. The combination of smog and a red sunset turned the sky purple, I guess. This is the color - I didn't change a thing.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Walk through Peking University

West gate of Peking University

A few weeks ago we took a walking tour through Peking University. This is the west gate. It is common in China for leaders to leave some calligraphy when they visit a location. Many emperors' handwriting is preserved in stone inscriptions. The four characters on this sign are Bei Jing Da Xue or Peking University. This is the writing of Chairman Mao. I'd say handwriting was not his strong suit.

Because my hand Chinese handwriting looks like a 3 year old did it, I feel comfortable identifying bad writing.

This tower is actually a water tower cleverly disguised as a pagoda. I imagine the water looks a little better earlier in the spring before the algae takes over.

We met some of the people in the red scarfs later in the day.

There were a number of families enjoying the day.

Some sort of flower growing from these lily pads. Does that make it a lily?

These guys were having a class reunion. They attended the middle school associated with the university back in the 40s, I believe. They entertained us with stories from their youth.

I still find these tress interesting. Sort of a natural camouflage. Perhaps it is a type of Sycamore?

We also visited the Arthur M. Sackler Museum of Art and Archaeology at Peking University while we were there.

This is the Laishui Man. He dates to 28,000 years ago.

Arthur M. Sackler Museum of Art and Archaeology

Art and Archaeology seems like a strange combination to me.

The museum is "... a teaching museum incorporating all elements of modern museology, such as modern display techniques, climate control, conservation facilities, storage and security, as well as a training program for archaeologists and museologists." so maybe it makes sense from that point of view.
Anindita Dutta

Some of the art was quite modern. This work is by Anindita Dutta.
Learn more about her here --- > Anindita Dutta.

Mr. Sackler made his money in medical advertising , publications and over the counter drugs.  Learn more at these links.

Arthur M Sackler the person
Arthur M Sackler Museum at Peking Univerisity

The grounds of the university are very nice.

Peking University is considered one of the top 2 or 3 universities in the country.

I have no idea why Cervantes rated a statue on the grounds.

I should note that Peking University was ground zero for organizing the student protests that led to the Cultural Revolution in 1966 and the Tian'anmen Incident in 1989.

Peking University

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Unusual Weather in Beijing

Back in early June we had some uncommon weather in Beijing. A front came through in the afternoon that resulted in some thunderstorms. The good news is that this resulted in some very clean air.

There was even a rainbow! Even the Beijingers were talking about it. It just doesn't happen that often. I guess the main reason is that it doesn't rain that much. Spring is usually dry all the way through to the middle of July. June was pretty wet this year.

I took this picture with my phone on the train from Tianjin to Beijing later in the evening.

The next day was very nice with some of the cleanest air I have ever seen here.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Forbidden City with Mom and Melanie

Here are the last pictures from Mom and Melanie's trip to Beijing. On this day they, along with Margot, visited the Forbidden City.

Margot took all these pictures. I wasn't there. I had returned to Tianjin for work.

This is one of the huge carved stone slabs set in the steps going up to the halls. These are made from one solid slab.

Click to enlarge.

It looks like everyone had a good time.

This is one of the lions you see in front of many buildings. The female one is usually on the left when facing the door. They will all have a baby lion under their paw.

Here is another of the stone carvings. Some of these were moved from the quarry during winter over ice covered roads.

They visited on a weekday. Highly recommended. The crowds are definitely smaller.

Not sure what they are looking at.

This is one of the halls. The characters on the sign board say zhongzheng ren he.  Something like fair, benevolent and gentle. Check out the ceiling.

The man chatting with Mom is Wu Lei. He is a tour guide that we meet 7 years ago the first time we were here. We call him whenever we want to go to the Great Wall, etc. If you need a tour guide in Beijing let me know and I'll give you his email and phone number.

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