Monday, November 06, 2017

Quiltville & The Forbidden City!

Happy Monday, everyone!

I hope you all had a relaxing weekend and time to unwind before we tackle this next week ahead.

I’m still going through my China photos, so many experiences and memories!

Over the weekend I watched a documentary on the history of the Forbidden City, and seeing it again in that context after having experienced it with my group and guide, I can so much more appreciate the history of this place.  I am fascinated by the culture, many centuries old, and how things are today as well.  If you have a hankering to sit back and enjoy a 60 minute dramatized documentary, you can find it HERE.

The one thing you can’t get over while visiting China is the number of people – everywhere.  I had always heard that the population in China was incredible, but until you are in the midst of it you really don’t realize how little elbow room there is.  And that went right along with trying to take photos with so many heads in the way.

Tourism has also exploded, and the tourists were out in droves as well.  It made for an exciting experience.


The Forbidden City.

It wasn’t my intention to get a wheelchair front and center, but some of us could have used it by the end of this day! LOL!  This was the day I got more than 18,000 steps without even trying.

The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty—the years 1420 to 1912. It is in the center of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum. It served as the home of emperors and their households as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government for almost 500 years.

Constructed from 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 72 ha (over 180 acres). The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. [source]


The building detail was fabulous.

We saw these colors nearly everywhere we went.  That beautiful blue with the jade green and shiny gold – and orange-red.  The mind marvels at the artisans who keep this paint fresh and new for millions of visitors each year.  How often does it have to be repainted?


And if you find a hexagon wall, you have to have your photo taken with it!

Yes, it definitely looks like a tired 18,000 step day!


My group gathered around Charlie as he gives us a history lesson on the Forbidden City.


I am fascinated by the architectural details.


And of course, there are dragons!


Charlie leads, we follow – out into the gardens.


So beautiful!


Just incredible.

If I remember correctly, this was built for the emperor's mother.


What an amazing experience!

So yes, all of my Forbidden City photos are found in the slide show below, it runs about 3 minutes so grab a cuppa!  There were places we couldn't see well to photograph, insides of palace rooms, etc – but I did the best I could!

The funniest photo in the batch?


Okay!!!  Nice to know!

What was even funnier?  We ALL took photos of this sign.  LOL!

And I have to tell you that from the time we announced we were going to China until the time I got back, the two most popular comments have been “Watch out for the toilets!”  “How did you like the toilets?”

I’m not sure what it is with our western toilet obsession, but it wasn’t my first time to the orient so I’ve come across this kind of situation before in Japan.  But for those who want to know what a 4 star toilet consists of:


Okay then!

It was the signs that cracked me up the most.  “Please slow down after long crouching.”  Not so difficult in my 20s, but let me tell you – in my 50s it’s the KNEES that are complaining upon getting up more than anything else.  But as the saying goes, when ya gotta go, you gotta go.  End of story.  Now your inquiring mind can be put to rest.

*NOTE*  There are "Western toilets" available at most places, including the handicapped stalls - but the lines were long.  So get adventurous and go 'native' or wait!


Another sign we found hilarious!!


Actually, it’s a quiet area and they don’t want any honking – but we just found this so funny!

Progress continues on the Sugar Bowl quilt.  More on that tomorrow.  I greatly enjoyed my Sunday, spending most of it away from the computer and off of social media, something I’d like to put into more practice.  I really need weekends to be weekends.  Like they used to be.  Maybe it is a sign of getting older that we long for things to be like they were 20 years ago.

When the world stopped for weekends and we could recharge for the week ahead.


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

I am hitting my desk running this morning. So much to be done, the deadline gauntlet has been thrown down!

Let's make it a great week, everyone!


  1. Your description of China makes me want to go. I've always been fascinated by their ancient culture. The toilets remind me of Mexico 30 years ago but there was no porcelain nor flush apparatus in the places we lived. Thank you for the photo tour!

  2. Bonnie, while I don't comment often on your posts, I do enjoy them. Thought I would suggest to you that you try to find a copy of the opera Turandot, the one that was done live at The Forbidden City. It has quite the story just in the making of the film. The music is beautiful and the setting, well, you'd love it. Just a suggestion. Thanks for all the posts on your trip!

  3. Thank you for the tour of the lost city. I had heard that they have a unique toilet system, like you my knees would be a problem for me also. A quick question the figures on the roof lines are they lions or dragons?

  4. Always nice to read your posts. Really enjoyed the Forbidden City and I'd watched the show prior to you leaving and was excited about what you'd see. Like you, just amazed by the architecture. I'm with you on the techno free weekend. I started with Sundays and it has made a huge difference. We even "ran away" to another city close by to use a hotel certificate about to expire. Really enjoyed our wonderful walk around a huge lake and watched an awesome sunset from the top floor suite balcony. Nice way to recharge! Thank you for all that you do and share! Hugs, Allison C Bayer Plano Texas USA

  5. Have enjoyed seeing your pictures which have reminded me of some of the buildings we saw in Taiwan. We spent 4 summers there after our retirements. Have you used the squaties on a train? The first time I did I told my husband that it was "a moving experience." Nancy A: rangerer@sbcglobal.net

  6. So true about the slowdown of activity. I believe one of the benefits of living in a 4 season location. Fall is the prep time for earth's rest during winter. Spring brings us our motivational wake up. By the time summer is over fall is welcome. Sometimes I miss this in the basic same season of southern CA.

  7. Very interesting post about China, don't think I could cope with the hoards of people! So pleased you had a media/computer free weekend. An excellent plan, keep up the good work.

  8. Bonnie, I agree that we need to take back our weekends to recharge. Looking forward to the rest of your pictures as well as your upcoming mystery. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Thank you for the enlightening information about Chinese restrooms. Who knew?? I sure didn't. My husband says that these are similar to those in Korea when he was in the army there. --Gina in Missouri

  10. Your toilet info reminded me of my tour to World Expo 1970 in Japan. We had that 4-star toilet at the inn, and we slept on tatami mats on the floor with rice pillows. Left our shoes at the inn entrance. Ah, great memories.

  11. Thanks for your pictures and comments. I feel like I visited
    China with all the gorgeous pictures you posted. Thanks for all you do. I look forward to your posts every day whatever they may be. You're great.

  12. Loved the photos. Thanks for sharing. I will review them again and again.


  13. I can understand the interest in the toilet sign, I have toilet paper with Property of British Government printed on it that I got at the Tower of London..Nancy

  14. Great pictures :0) It was a magical trip!


If you are commenting as "anonymous" please leave your name at the end of your comment.

Did you know that ad space on this blog provides for all of the free patterns and free mysteries and challenges at no cost to you? Without ads, this blog would not be possible.

Thank you for understanding the many hours that go into this blog 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year. :)