Photos: China Part 2 - Beijing>Tiananmen Square and Hutongs
We all watched the demonstrations in the square, who knew one day John and I would be standing there.
Tiananmen Square can hold a million people; it was made this large so Chairman Mao could review one million of his Red Army soldiers in one setting.
Michael showed us the hotel room where the American reporter shot the film of the military police putting down the peaceful demonstration in the square. He was spotted and removed his roll of film, hid it, put in a new roll and took some innocuous photos so when the police arrived and confiscated his roll of film they missed the photos that would shock the world.
We visited two Hutong Lanes whilst in Beijing. The first was across the street from the Forbidden City. Our rickshaw driver spoke some English so he could explain a little bit about the lanes and their inhabitants. If you looked down on the lanes you would see the lanes, square structures enclosing courtyards with gardens or communal cooking areas. The hutongs are cross interlaced so every house is connected, which in the past made them into neighbourhoods, now of course there some families living in the Hutong and their homes have been passed down generation to generation, but many are now owned by prominent military and government officials and wealthy people.
The more impressive the door, with lions to guard, and fancy lintels, the wealthier the owners.
The Hutong closest to the Forbidden City was much cleaner and had wider lanes, most of the homes have been bought by wealthy people and they have renovated them, we passed probably fifteen homes being gutted and re-done.
This home owner must be very important, if you look at the lintel over the door, small lions though, Michael told us in the past you could only have decorations according to your status, but now people add what they want. You could look at the door and know what government or military official lived there and their status.
The lanes were swept clean, one thing we did see were pieces of cardboard placed over the tires; this was to prevent the doggy urine from splashing onto their hubcaps. We watched a man with a dog let the dog go over to the tire and pee.
There was always a pleasant surprise in the Hutongs, a nice park to meditate, exercise; etc was at the end of this lane. The picture below is the second Hutong we visited; it also had a great surprise at the end or beginning, hard to tell.
This is the second Hutong we visited
Not as pristine as the first Hutong.
What were they thinking...?
We visited this home; the family that lived there had lived in this home for over 200 years.
She was growing fruit and vegetables in her courtyard.
This cat had evil eyes, not friendly at all.
We came out of the lanes and found a lake, restaurants, and shops, what a surprise as it is very quiet when you are going through the lanes and you can’t hear any traffic noise.
Silver Ingot Bridge
Deep frying pig’s intestines...did not eat at this restaurant.
Hutong homes turned into shops.
Great Bronze Statue