Tuesday, June 4, 2019

A trip to China - Day 2 - On the way, and a visit, to Tiananmen Square

On the road to Tiananmen Square

One the first things you notice when driving around Beijing, other than the roads are congested with traffic, is the number of trees and flowers that have been planted, in the median strip as well as along the edges of the road.

And, then, every now and there, very colourful garden beds

Nearer to the square we are able to get up close to the flowers.  These, we are told, are a variation on the rose, one that flowers for nine months of the year.

They come in a variety of colours.

And they are literally everywhere you go, on the side of the roadway, sometimes blotting out the concrete jungle behind them.

Tiananmen Square

This is huge; one of the largest public squares in the world, and if you're going to walk it, like we did, make sure you've been exercising before you go.  It covers 44 hectares, borders on the Forbidden City, and has a memorial to chairman Mao in the centre of it.  But you cannot go near it, it's fenced off, and it is guarded.

That's both the statue and the square as there are random guards marching in random directions all the while watching us to see that we don't misbehave.
No one wants to find out what would happen if you jumped the fence around the statue, but I'm guessing you'll have a few years to contemplate the stupidity of your actions with some very unhappy government officials.
Around the edges of the square are huge buildings, one of which is the museum and the other is the Chinese equivalent of parliament.

Around the sides are also large gardens

At one end, where the Forbidden City borders on the square, there's a huge flag pole flying the Chinese flag, and this too like the monument is fenced off, and guarded by members of all of their armed services.  No tanks rolled out during our visit much to our disappointment.

Other than that, it's just another square, albeit probably one of the largest in the world.  It can, we were told, hold about a million people.

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