Once you exit the Forbidden City, you can still take a wonderful walk along its moat! It's not only a relaxed and quiet walk, as most people are understandably exhausted after their visit to the Forbidden City, but it offers beautiful reflections of the city, even when the weather is as horrible as the day I was there.
Just north of the Forbidden City lies what is probably my favourite place in the city – Jingshan Park. This time, climbing to the top offered me views of the fall foliage gracing the lamps and pavilions...
And then I reached the prized summit, with its beautiful spanning views of the Forbidden City below. My favourite views are winter ones. But this one did just fine. And guess what, they put a plaque on the summit that marks the physical centre of Beijing! So you can have the honour – like the kid in the picture – of really being at the centre of it all!
From there, I began my descent, enjoying views of Beihai Park in the distance, and coming across some older people enjoying a game of cards or playing with some kind of whipping/spinning top.
Since I was already exploring old favourites of mine, and since I was in the area anyhow, I went for one last one – Beihai Park. It was already getting a bit dark, and the pollution was making me feel a bit sick. But I still re-explored plenty of the place, walking by its lake, around its island (where I had the snacks I mentioned in a previous post), past its peculiar curving constructions... Last time I had visited it was winter, and we had been playing on the ice with an Aussie friend of ours!
After this I headed back to my hotel, went to a bar for one last drink, and took the train to the airport to leave this, my old home, to go to my current home.
It was nice being back. It was even nicer confirming this still feels like home. And I'm definitely coming back with the habibi with plenty of time to explore and enjoy!