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Colorful architecture from Beijing, China.

Beijing has quite literally bloomed before our eyes.  As the days have gone by the magnolia blooms have fully opened and more and more tress are showing their beautiful yellow, pink and purple blossoms. The temperature is still cool (high of 60) and the sky a pastel blue-what better day to visit the Temple of Heaven and its beautiful surrounding park. We walked through the park with expanses of bright green new… Read More

Today was a study in contrasts.  To list just a few: Ancient history at the Forbidden City vs. a visit to the contemporary 2008 Olympic site; Massive crowds of people pressing into sites intended for peace and serenity; Tasty meals vs. a market featuring scorpions, snakes and worms; and Cool blue skies vs. a haze of pollution. We started it all under the watchful gaze of Chairman Mao at the infamous Tiananmen… Read More

What a day to visit the Great Wall of China!  We headed out early to the Badaling section from the Ming Dynasty, which is the most restored portion of the Wall.  Going early helped beat the crowds and they were substantial on this beautiful day.  Crowds notwithstanding, it was everything I thought it would be and more. It’s hard to visualize the experience – in words or photos. The mountains are beautiful… Read More

This morning we headed north of the Forbidden City to the recreational lake area of Qian Hai and Hou Hai.  We decided to start with a visit to the fabulous Mansion of Prince Gong before exploring the delightful surrounding hutong neighborhood.  It’s another clear, beautiful, cool day in the city. The Mansion is the best example of an historic property of its type, built during the reign of the Qianlong emperor and then inhabited by its namesake… Read More

We take so much for granted in the U.S., notably our freedom of expression.  There is no Facebook access here, nor can I post directly to my blog as social media is very restricted on the mainland.  Our daughter Ashley is acting as my surrogate “poster”, and hopefully we will be able to keep telling our story .  .  . We are taking an escorted tour since it’s pretty much the only… Read More

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