The Forbidden City is one huge maze of look-alike buildings with no trees, no grass, nothing of nature to distract the intention of focusing on the emperor being the Son of God. That’s how Peter explained it.
Until 1911, the end of the dynasties, no one but the emperor, his eunuchs, and up to 3,000 concubines (per emperor) had ever been inside. It was a place where much “policy” was made, and the interior goings on, with governmental advising eunuchs, cloaked in secrecy.
Nowadays (since a terrorist bombing in 2011), you need a ticket and your passport to get in, and you may only enter through one gate and leave through another designated gate, no going back in. Our guide cut through the long lines and we gained access rather quickly.
For some reason, I wasn’t much “impressed” with this rather barren place. I did, however, buy a book from a vendor on the street to read all about it at a “later” time. Perhaps that will give me the insights I missed. Usually, I learn the other way around—read first, then experience first hand, and ask a lot of clarification questions.
Perhaps after the incredible emotional drain of Tiananmen Square (see yesterday’s post), I was too wrung out to fully immerse myself here.
Nevertheless, I was glad we went!