Wednesday June 1, 2016

Well, it’s over! It’s done! Like all good things, our extra-good time in China has come to an end, and we Mad Midlife Kiwis are on our way home. China has frankly blown us away: we’ve done so much, seen so much, learnt so much and enjoyed so much that the challenge, now, is to sort those memories and impressions and photos into some sort of order. But, before I put this blog to bed, there’s one final stopover that must be acknowledged – China’s amazing modern capital, Beijing, where everything seems so BIG!

Few places on earth can match the extraordinary historical panorama on display in Beijing. (If you’re old enough, you might remember it better as Peking.) This city alone boasts six UNESCO World Heritage sites, just one less than the whole of Egypt. And we began our sightseeing by walking-with-the-hordes across the world’s biggest public gathering-place, Tiananmen Square, still watched over by a huge portrait of Chairman Mao. (You may remember the student protest, police crackdown and tragic massacre that took place here in 1989.)

We followed that up with a stroll through China’s biggest and best-preserved Imperial Palace, the Forbidden City. Built in the 15th century, this vast walled compound served as home and power-base for the emperors of the last two dynasties, the Ming and Qing, and was off-limits to commoners like us for 500 years.

Then we meandered through China’s biggest Imperial Garden, the Summer Palace, and enjoyed a dragon-boat ride on the lake.

STILL TO COME: We can’t leave Beijing without seeing Great Wall of China – don’t you agree? Standby for our Midlife Madness Grande Finale

Yours bloggedly – JOHN

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