The Beilin (Forest of Stele) really deserves its own post.
We went there in the grey and drizzly later afternoon. We had to wander around in scholar street again to find it, which was quite a pleasure in itself.
First there was a garden with little pavilions, mostly closed up.
I guess these housed the less exciting steles.
Then outside the main buildings there was a block with carving from the Classic of Filial Piety. Here is a kid looking seriously up at it while his mother looked on.
Here is a detail view of some characters on it, including the characters for "filial child".
Inside the hall were the remnants of the Tang dynasty "stone classics." I was a bit blase at first, then I got more and more excited.
Here's me looking quite unstable in front of the Classic of Changes stones.
We saw stones having to do with Xuanzang, the historical basis for the monk in Journey to the West. We saw a Nestorian Christian stone carving, which is historically important... at least to people who are interested in the history of Christianity. I had worried that Pocket of Bolts would be pretty bored, but he had charge of the camera and seemed to enjoy taking pictures of things and of me looking at things. Here is a picture he took playing with reflections.
There were also a lot of pictures that came about because I said, "Hey Pocket of Bolts! Come here and take a picture of this one!" Here is one that PoB found all on his own though. He doesn't know very many Chinese characters, but he can recognize many of the numbers. This is the so-called "autobiography of Confucius": "When I was 15, I set my heart on study" and so forth.
By the last hall I was really worked up. That hall was thick with the smell of ink, and there was a team of people making rubbings.
They also had stele with pictures on them, which I liked a lot. In the end, I even had to buy a rubbing of this one. It's the God of Literature pointing at the Big Dipper (with his foot). He's all made of Chinese characters.
The whole Beilin experience made me quite excited and overwrought! Pocket of Bolts was highly amused, but also pleased.