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

P.S. If you want to receive future Mad Midlife Travel Blogs in your INBOX, just sign-up (top-right) for your free Email Subscription! And if you’d like to leave a message for someone in our group, just click on the little speech bubble at the top of this entry, and add your comments! (Make sure you say who it’s for and who it’s from – and keep it brief.)

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About John Cooney

John Cooney and his wife Robyn have enjoyed more than their fair share of travel. They hesitate to call themselves ‘experts’ – but they’ve grabbed every chance that’s come their way to explore new countries, cultures and customs. They’ve had the privilege (both on their own and as the leaders of numerous successful group-tours) to sample many stunning destinations: Europe, the UK, Singapore, Vanuatu, the USA, Israel, Egypt, Africa, Dubai, China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. And their recent (and most pleasant) memories are of the places ancient-and-modern that border the Mediterranean. John and Robyn are at-home in airports, hotels, cruise ships, and the like … and they know how to make the most of a unique travel opportunity. Travel, they reckon, is an all-five-senses experience – a chance to see, feel, smell, hear and taste the world. And they’ve done it often enough to know for sure: sightseeing with a group of laid-back Kiwis is DOUBLE the fun – lots of laughs, great company, and memories that last forever!

2 thoughts on “BIGGER-THAN-BIG BEIJING …

  1. Absolutely wonderful blog John & Robyn. Photos made me feel as though I was there also. Many thanks for keeping me informed and up-to-date (well almost) – you have done a marvellous job. I am friends with Julie & Bruce and like to “travel” with them or their journeys.

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