Friday, July 25, 2008

(Not so) Forbidden City

The U.S. team in the Imperial Garden. Think they attracted some attention?

While the U.S. team has played in China many times over the years, the team has never before been to Beijing, so the players will do a bit of sightseeing in the first few days while they begin to acclimate to the time difference. The U.S. team took a tour of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City this morning. The most impressive part about the excursion was the pure size of the square (they say it holds 1,000,000 people) and the ancient palace, which for almost five centuries served as the home of the Emperor and was the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government. It was built from 1406 to 1420 and consists of 980 surviving buildings with 8,707 rooms. You think the emperor could host a few friends? It's now a museum (has been since 1924 in fact) and features the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. The tour, which was all outdoors, featured some very, very hot and muggy weather. Needless to say, the players were drenched as if they'd just trained for 90 minutes, but the walk was excellent in helping with the jet lag and certainly seeing something so ancient and revered was memorable.

Carli Lloyd, Shannon Boxx and Christie Rampone guard this lion which guards the palace

Linday Tarpley, Heather Mitts and Heather O'Reilly in front of the Gate of Supreme Harmony

This pot was used to collect rainwater in case the palace caught on fire. For some reason, big pots are funny

A nice view of the Palace of Heavenly Purity in the Forbidden City

No comments: