JEAN & OLLIE'S TRIP TO CHINA, TIBET & HONG KONG 2005 travel blog

TIAN'ANMEN SQUARE & LINE TO SEE CHAIRMAN MAO'S TOMB

PICTURE OF CHARIMAN MAO ON A BUILDING

1ST OF 5 "GATES" INTO THE FORBIDDEN CITY

A STATUE INSIDE THE FORBIDDEN CITY

DETAIL ON ONE OF THE ROOFLINES IN THE FORBIDDEN CITY

ONE OF THE BUILDINGS IN THE FORBIDDEN CITY

LOOK AT HOW MANY CULTURED PEARLS ARE IN ONE OYSTER

"TONY" OUR BEIJING CITY GUIDE

ROYAL RESIDENCE ON KUNMING LAKE

ROYAL STONE BOAT AT KUNMING LAKE


Hi to All!

This first day was warm and sunny. Apparently the norm here is overcast and somewhat cold.

Had a long but wonderful day. At Tian'anmen Square there were people lined up for miles waiting to to into Chairman Mao's tomb to view his body and pay their respects. Even though he died in 1976, the people still love him that much. We did not go into the tomb. Not enough time! We had a group photo taken in front of his picture instead. We then walked to the Forbidden City. It was a bit disappointing, as they are renovating it for the 2008 Olympics. There was scaffolding everywhere. It was still interesting to hear about the royal families and what their lifestyle was like.

We then went to a pearl factory and learned all about pearl farming. I bought myself a pearl ring and Ollie passed on this wonderful opportunity!!

Next came lunch which was served family style at two tables of nine people. I forgot to mention that there are 18 of us on this tour. We also have a city guide, a driver, and a national guide. The national guide stays with us through the entire tour. Very comforting!!

After lunch we were driven to the summer place which is located on a manmade lake called Kunming Lake. We walked for what seems like miles around about 1/2 of the lake where we saw the living quarters of the royal families when they were in residence. Even though it was a Sunday, we saw very few children. When we asked our guide about this, he said most were in school. Even on weekends the children have special classes a lot of the time. Of course there is also the "one Child" law which is obeyed especially in the cities. Our guide said this is not followed so much on the farms.

Tomorrow we have a very long day planned. We will see the Great Wall. We leave out hotel at 8 a.m. and not return until about 7 or 8 p.m.

Gotta get back to our room and get to bed. We sure do wish we had gotten in shape before coming on this trip. Ollie is "dying" from leg cramps. This may be one of those trips where we lose weight instead of gain it!! Getting lots of exercise now.



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