The capital city of China - Beijing used to be covered in smog or soaked with the subtropical humidity. In the past you can find here a sleepy city sinking in the shadow of narrow winding streets on which thousands of people cycle to work every morning. Among the other things you can find here are historical palaces and dynamic modern buildings heading towards the 21st century with their architecture now. From hutongs, traditional small houses made of bricks with burnt-tile pitched roofs, old men go for exercise to the parks before the sunrise, to have a chat with their friends or just to contemplate with their feathered companions in the cages. City is in regular periods swallowed up by a thick cloak of dust from the sandstorms of the Gobi desert. Soft sand gets in everywhere. People have to protect themselves by wearing veils. Winter is usually dry and sunny. You could count on fingers of one hand the days when there is snow in the streets. At least there are more chilly days and people can skate on frozen lakes in Beihai Park. Spring is very short and turns the city to green color from one day to another. Vegetation is not very multiple here. People are fascinated by magnolia blossoms on the wall of the Forbidden City and by cherry trees growing in parks. Beijing, with its 850 years old traditions has a big interest in catching up with other big cities in the world. When you get here, you are likely to find only some echoes of the old times, times that had remained unchanged for many centuries. The original historical monuments have been vanishing under the bulldozers and their new imitations cannot substitute them. Bicycles have changed to cars. It brings even more smog. Some Chinese people feel sorry for their disappearing favorite places; others plunge into the swirl of westernized lifestyle to find new opportunities.
Photo documentary story / Photojournal by Czech Photographer Jiri Tondl (Hits: 98332)
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