The Temple of Heaven

10/5

After church we went to The Temple of Heaven.

The fame was fun for awhile but by the end of the day it got pretty old.  Squirt (and our large family) were a huge attraction and here it got to the point that we couldn’t stop moving without gathering a crowd taking our picture.  There were steps all over so B waited with Squirt while we looked inside the Hall of Prayer and then we switched.  While he was looking, we gathered a crowed.  Then we left and walked past a gift shop.  B waited outside while I looked around quickly.  When I came out I found not Squirt having his picture taken, but B posing with two friends who took turns having their picture taken with him.  Afterwards he joked that maybe they thought he was Drew Carey.  While he was having his picture taken, a woman nicely asked me in English if she could take a picture with my baby.  We continued on further and got the kids some ice cream.  While they ate sitting on a curb they gathered this crowd in the bottom right hand picture.  Some parents even pushed their Chinese children forward to stand by our kids for a picture.  It got old pretty fast.  I was surprised that in our way less western neighborhood we don’t attract swarms of photographers like we do at huge tourist attractions where there are other westerners aplenty.

Echo Wall (here)

Buddy (with the sun in his eyes) and the tallest building in Beijing.
Circular Mound Altar

from here

Heaven Heart Stone
Heaven Heart Stone, also known as Sun Stone, is one of most distinct, design-wise, in the Temple of Heaven. It is a round stone in the center of the altar which is slightly protruding. If you stand on it and shout or knock, the sound waves will be clearly echoed.  In ancient times, at the Worshiping Heaven Ceremony, the ritual officer would stand on the stone to read the oration and the clangorous sound seemed to be reaching to heaven.

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