day 39

some observations

...because today we visited an ancient observatory.  we also visited a former military watch tower that is now a beautiful art gallery!

the red interior of the gallery was a welcome break from the extreme grey that we've been living with for the past few days.  Last Sunday and Monday here brought some of the most clear blue skies we'd seen since we'd arrived....and then by Wednesday, it was a whole new story.  The smog levels had gone way up.  Smog is measured on a scale of 1 to 500....and by Thursday we got up to 452....oh yeah, and it stinks.  My novelty mask/bandana isn't going to cut it.  We've ordered new ones...hoping they arrive soon.

anyway, enough of that...hopefully it will clear up sooner than later...meanwhile, some photos below from our sightseeing trips today:

a famous scientist

a famous scientist

some beautiful astronomical devices on the rooftop of the observatory

some beautiful astronomical devices on the rooftop of the observatory

detail from the base....oh, these pieces date from the 1600's...perhaps not that old as chinese history goes...

detail from the base....oh, these pieces date from the 1600's...perhaps not that old as chinese history goes...

some local color on an otherwise grey day

some local color on an otherwise grey day

no shortage of dragons here

no shortage of dragons here

on the grounds of the observatory....

on the grounds of the observatory....

not sure we were supposed to see this....sort of like going backstage at Disneyland....except different.

not sure we were supposed to see this....sort of like going backstage at Disneyland....except different.

guess I should find out what this says...I just like the blue color

guess I should find out what this says...I just like the blue color

a view from atop the Red Gate Gallery....if you look to the left side of the photo, that angled wall is a section of the Great Wall that ran through the city of Beijing

a view from atop the Red Gate Gallery....if you look to the left side of the photo, that angled wall is a section of the Great Wall that ran through the city of Beijing

the artist was prepping this, and other pieces, for installation.  this wasn't intended to be his resting spot...but it looked cool here.  

the artist was prepping this, and other pieces, for installation.  this wasn't intended to be his resting spot...but it looked cool here.

 

really loved this guys work...the figure on the right was a wire armature with a golden screen material.  quite beautiful.  (the same artist did the buddha sculpture above)

really loved this guys work...the figure on the right was a wire armature with a golden screen material.  quite beautiful.  (the same artist did the buddha sculpture above)

exterior of the Red Gate Gallery....once a military guard post...now a lovely art gallery

exterior of the Red Gate Gallery....once a military guard post...now a lovely art gallery