By Brenda Luczynksi
I have to take a moment to again thank Wing (who lives in St. Marlo) for ensuring that my experience in China was the best. He made sure that I sampled all of the excellent food. Lunch in Hangzhou was the best. I had eggplant, onions wrapped in dough and baked, yummy. So, now to Beijing.
What can I say? The Forbidden City is filled with artifacts dating back thousands of years. Everything from jewelry to paintings to jeweled combs and brushes. There are different buildings that house art, pottery and you can even see rooms where some of the emperors actually slept. A friend of Wing’s and I were given a private tour of the Forbidden City. All of the ancient artifacts were amazing. We also had a fabulous lunch outside of the City that was owned by a relative of Mao.
Also, the Bird’s Nest and the building where Michael Phelps won his medals is a must see. The Peking Duck restaurant in Beijing is fabulous and no trip can be without a trip to the Pearl Market.
Of course, in my opinion, a trip to China without visiting the Great Wall would be like a Southerner without their sweet tea. The Great Wall is approximately a two hour car ride from Beijing. It is absolutely breathtaking. Words cannot describe the view. Wing tells the story that the first United States president to visit China was Richard Nixon. Plans were to take him to the Great Wall. The eve before the planned motorcade was to visit the Great Wall, snow blanketed Beijing and all along the road to the Great Wall. This was unexpected; however, the morning of the venture, the Chinese showed up at Nixon’s hotel and knocked on the door. “What are you doing here?”
“We have come for the President,” the Chinese responded.
“But the streets are closed,” the Americans said.
“Come,” the Chinese replied. During the night, the people of China lined the roads from Beijing to the Great Wall with their straw brooms and cleared the roads.
And, my friends, that sums it up. I would go back to China in a heartbeat. Oh, not sure if I mentioned, but you need to read James Hilton’s book entitled, “Lost Horizon”. Most of the Shangri-La hotels give you a copy. Again, thanks to our friend Wing, without him, this trip would not have had the “wow” that it did.