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Tiananmen Square is concrete.

It was cordoned off, making it inaccessible to all.

In the courtyard of the Forbidden City

I felt overwhelmed by the mesh of tourists.

Beneath the outer walls of the Forbidden City, we breathed a little easier

We escaped to the Summer Palace on the outskirts of Beijing.

small islands surrounding a large lake

Eight bridges joined the islands like connect-the-dots

We walked across the water, bridge by bridge.

The yellow roofs of the palace peeked over

The most beautiful art of all was on the painted ceilings

The yellow roofs formed a precise square

Fishermen and women going about their daily lives, unaffected by the Olympic madness.

The rain started to fall faster

Just then, a rickshaw driver pulled up beside us.

Our driver pedaled nonchalantly into oncoming traffic

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