The Forbidden City

9999.5 rooms and halls, 720,000 square meters and the home of 24 emperors (plus wifes, concubines and eunuches) during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Possibly even bigger than Bill Gates' house.

"Roger" on the left talked us into letting him be our guide at the forbidden city. We each paid him around $4 for about 2 hours.

At first I saw this guy and though "Oh no! They have leaf blowers!". In reality, he was spraying the ground with something - probably weed killer.

A lion guardian. This is the male lion which has a pomegranate (a symbol of power) under its paw. The female on the other side has a lion cub.

Work force? Military?

I can't remember what this is!

Animals decorate the roof tops. (I can't remember what these mean.)

A throne.

A huge single piece of stone weighing more than 200 tons that was moved many miles during the winter by digging wells to produce ice slides.

Crowds? What Crowds?

Another throne.

Dragons, the symbol of the emperor and China. This is also where you get to buy...

your cute orange plastic overshoes. "Roger" said the reason for them was to make more money but at about 12 cents per pair, I doubt it. The large size barely fit the smallest of our American feet. Flap, Flap, Flap...

Just a random bit of detail