Having seen many temples along our travels, we thought it was likely to be the same as all the others and in some ways it was but the atmosphere was something quite different.
I am not sure if it was the weather or the stillness of the air but walking around the Temple of Heaven was peaceful. Peace and quiet is something quite hard to find in Beijing, even in parks or large open spaces there are always so many people or you can constantly hear traffic or the delightful coughing and spitting that follows you everywhere. Yet standing outside the Temple of Heaven, even with a large number of tourists it was quiet and it was astonishing. It felt like we were a million miles away, on a different planet almost. We strolled around without a care in the world, we watched a young couple have their wedding photos taken, we looked out over a foggy Beijing and for a few minutes it was just us. Then as always we were brought back to the China we know and sometimes love by a little old woman harassing us to buy some map and a wooden puzzle….only in China!