Day 6 – The Last Day in China

Sounds like a bad movie.

It’s been a wild ride both figuratively (general travel issues) and literally (I can’t express the fear & adrenaline laced bus rides well enough).

7:18 pm 3/17/2011 CST – 8:18 pm 3/18/2011 local
Beijing Railway Station

We have arrived back in Beijing on time. I was pretty surprised considering we had to switch engines in the middle of the night.

Many are unhappy that we are not stopping at the hotel first to clean up. If we do, we wind up not fitting everything into the day. The guides are also in the same boat, so I don’t feel like complaining.

We head off to breakfast at a nearby hotel (not ours) and then depart for the Summer Palace.

9 pm 3/17/2011 CST – 10 am 3/18/2011 local
The Summer Palace

We have arrived at the Summer Palace. This place involves the same story about the Dragon Lady and the baby dumplings from the night before. It is quite beautiful.

Other highlights include:
• A persistent young boy trying to either sell postcards or pick everyone’s pockets (unsuccessfully). Either way he also enjoyed making fun of…

• …Malcolm, who got handed some non-Chinese money as change. Malcolm was obviously upset, but took it in stride. At least the money wasn’t that much.

• The world’s largest corridor

• Lunch

1 am CST – 2 pm Local
Tiananmen Square & Forbidden City

Pictures. Keep walking. No stopping. More pictures. Keep walking. No stopping.

Thus were our instructions from our guide, Lee.

Ancient, beautiful, steeped in history (both good and bad), and more. The vastness of Tiananman Square with its modern, pervasive surveillance is in stark contrast to the colorful ornateness of the Forbidden City with it’s almost palpable sense of ghosts of the past, in spite of the hordes of tourists of various nationalities.

When I visit both modern and ancient places with a huge history, I tend to imagine the people that tread there before me. It can be overwhelming at times.

4:15 am CST – 5:15 pm local
Flying Acrobatics Show

Before dinner, we attended an acrobatics show. Flexibility, strength, and balance were all on display.

I hope my video turned out so I can post it here.

6 am CST – 7 pm local
Peking Roast Duck

Peking Duck is an old name. It is actually now called Beijing Duck. I don’t particularly care for duck, but this was delicious. The kids enjoyed it also, although I am sure yearnings for burgers and fries is becoming overwhelming.

From here, we left for the hotel…and showers. Sweet, blissful showers. Check-in bags down to the lobby by 10:30 pm and then to bed for the 3:30 am wake up call.

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