Beijing, Day 9, June 16 – Adam Pflugrath
As my final post for our trip to china, I would like to go out with a bang. We awoke this morning early in time to get on the Beijing Metro, which was such an ease to use and made our way amongst the thousands of tourists to Tian’anmen Square where we lingered and took a lot of photos for 45 minutes or so. It was an incredible site and a great tribute to the Chinese people. Afterwards we went to the Forbidden City. Despite much confusion and shoving our way to the front of the ticket lines (apparently the concept of a line doesn’t exist in traffic or ticketing formations) for the Forbidden City, we made it through the Hall of Middle Harmony without a problem. Upon breaching the final barrier into the city we were met with an unwanted visitor, rain. I have never seen a sky get so dark. It looked like dusk at noon. Mixed with the already visually hindering smog, the awesome thunderstorm clouds rolled in without warning and made a trip to the Forbidden City very interesting.
We quickly made a run for the exit after purchasing chopsticks and seeing all the necessities (with photos of course) amidst a shroud of rain and very intense lighting! Finally, we made it to Adam S.’s hotel which was only a “few” blocks away, but seemed forever in the pouring down rain. Afterwards we ate lunch at a Sichuan restaurant in the huge mall underneath the hotel.
When the rain cleared, Ashley and Christine went to the Summer Palace while Adam, Andrew and I went to the Military Museum. I can say, without a doubt this was one of the best museums I have ever been too. There were more tanks and guns, both artillery and used by infantry from 1900-1946 to outfit a small army, most weapons coming from other countries. Upon reading the history of China that few learn about in public education in America, I was very impressed with the proud nationalistic display presented at the museum. With artifacts ranging from the beginnings of the Chinese Empire to the present with most of the museum concentrating on the multiple civil wars beginning in 1911, the failure of the Great Revolution, the Anti-Japanese War and the war for the solidification of China under the Communist Party. The history presented from 1927-1947 was unbelievable and I would highly recommend a visit to this museum if you plan to visit Beijing and are interested in learning about the rise of the Communist Party in China from a different historical perspective.