Beihai Park provided a pretty space for my mother and me to wait to meet up with my father, who hadn't accompanied us to the Wall in the morning.
Click on any photo to enlarge.
A local man, practicing his characters in water on the flagstones, while the crowd watches, impressed.
He takes some requests, and then starts getting fancy with unusual style-work.
While my father films the calligrapher, i amuse myself with lotus blossoms.
Within the Circular City area of the park, i discover this charming scene.
Me, posing with the illustrious Marquis of Shade. An excellent tree, i couldn't agree more.
The White Dagoba on Jade Island.
We all took a quick walk beside the lake, and then hurried back to the hotel to change for Peking Duck dinner, and an Acrobatic show to celebrate our last evening in Beijing.
The China National Acrobatic Circus performs at the Heaven and Earth Theatre, a name which conjures appropriate pictures of god-like feats. We arrived a few minutes late, nervous about finding our seats in the dark, and were surprised to be ushered into a well-lit auditorium with a noisy and lively crowd and pervasive smell of popcorn. Seven boys onstage were performing exuberant gymnastics involving hats; one in each hand and one on the head, for a base position, but trading around to get up to seven on the head, and several in the air. The audience took flash photographs like crazy. My camera refused to work, so you'll have to take my word for it. After the boys bowed and tumbled their way offstage, the music went softer, and the lights faded to black. For some reason, my camera was perfectly happy taking a photo in total darkness.
Almost frighteningly double-jointed, this girl turned herself practically inside out and achieved positions that i'm fairly sure are physically impossible, all the while balancing wine glasses on one foot. And then later on her hands and head as well.
And this team of energetic boys scurried up and down the poles like monkeys.
Unfortunately, the dark, the action, and the rather distant stage made a combination that was not camera-friendly, so those are my only two offerings from a very memorable evening. And they mark the last of my photos from a VERY memorable trip through an incredible city. I don't know if i'll ever return to Beijing, but even if i never do, i feel glad to have had a week there, well-spent.