Today we started the day with a visit to Tiananmen, the largest Square in this world. From the center of the square we saw Mao Zetong’s Mausoleum, the monument to China’s heroes, China’s Government headquarters, the Capital Museum, and the Forbidden City.
The Forbidden City is the largest palace in the world; it was the home of 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. We fought our way through throngs of people, and got glimpses of the emperor’s throne, stately halls, and gardens. It was quite an experience.
We then went to the Summer Palace, a 700 acre park commissioned by Emperor Chianglong as a present for his mother’s 60th birthday. This royal retreat was once the seat of government by Empress Cixi until 1908. Its magnificent gardens, temples, pagodas, bridges, and willow trees provide a respite from the heat in the summer, as Kuming Lake makes up 3/4 of the entire park. This park is impressive in its magnitude and opulence.
From the Summer Palace we continued on to visit students from a well-known high school. They welcomed us with refreshments and performances from both local and foreign students. Myles Stapelberg and Justin Ko represented our school by describing a day at Mater Dei. Myles spoke in Chinese and Justin translated and added more information for those who did not understand Chinese. They made us extremely proud. We parted by presenting the teacher in charge and the students with a token of our appreciation. We ended this long first full day in Beijing with a Beijing Duck dinner.
Thank you parents for entrusting Mr. Corona and me with your precious students. They are absolutely a pleasure to travel with, and I would repeat this experience in a heart beat!
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s adventures on The Great Wall of China.
Over and out