Saturday, March 18, 2006
Last day in Beijing
Today is the 18th of March, we started our morning with a western style breakfast at Grand View Garden Hotel. Jasmine our tour guide met us in the lobby at 0930. First stop was to Tian An Men Square, the history of the area, we all had an errie feeling. Miltary and local police in strong numbers through out the square. Poltical building were based all around the square. The square held up to 500,000 people. Next stop was to the Forbidden City. Emporer Palace/poltical residents beautifully built, building erected in the 15th century as series of building. Chinese believe in the number 9 being a whole/perfect number. It shows in the architect design. The Emporer in 1888 burned down most of building except the support pillars and main gables, rebuild completely in 1889. The interior garden was well design and extremely peaceful. The entire flooring consists of granite, sandstone and marble. It's hard to explian the fine detail in the Forbidden City- Truly amazing. The next stop was to lunch consisting of western style meal. Steve and I snuck into where the drivers and tour guides had their meal. Real Chinese food, guides try their best to make westerners comfortable. But I can't for the life of me figure out why not experience the true Chinese experience. The authenic food and the real culture and history of China. China has such a long and rich history. After lunch we went to pearl factory- another government run store (just like jade factory)- expensive. But we learned about pearls- quality,age and colors(depending on the minerals in the water-black iron,pink magnese,white calcium,etc). The pearls were fresh water variety and like trees you could tell the oysters age by the rings on the shell. The older the oysters, the more pearls produced-5 years old=20 pearls. Then back to the airport and customs; for our trip to Changsha a two hour flight. Airlines were very courteous, American airlines could have taken a lesson in service. Our new guide Jason met us at the airport. Jason seems to be professional and courteous, also prideful of his area he grew up in. We're staying in the Dolton Hotel a 5 star and extremely popular resort. After settling in appromately at 2000 hours, we were exhausted. Early night- slept the best during the whole trip finally got 8 hours of sleep, I been averaging 3-4 hours. We are finally getting NEAR POINT OF GETTING MIKALA- On the 20 of March , around 0900 hours anticapation is murder.