Tues. 4- Day 5 – We had a free evening after landing in Beijing last night.
Let me mention that the airport at this time was in a different location than it is now. As we approached the airport and dropped down into the flight pattern, we could see the skyscrapers ahead of us in the distance. As we entered the city’s airspace, we could watch the televisions of the people who happened to live on either side of the approach in their apartments.
I lifted my feet out of the survival instinct as we passed over many buildings just below us on the way to land. I don’t know who was more frieghtened, me or the residents below our plane.
The main building of the airport had two tone green walls as seen in old army barracks sometimes and it was quite small. I was very surprised. But remember, this was the just beginning of regular tourist travel into China in 1995. The parking lot was in need of new asphalt and more lighting. I am not complaining, just mentioning it because it is so different now.
Today we went to the Imperial Palace, Tian An Men Square stands next to it. Their is the giant painting of Mao on the red wall. This is the largest square in the world and in 1949 the Republic of China was Proclaimed here.
We then took a short drive out to the Summer Palace. It sits on the side of a large lake. There is a decorative ship there made of marble. It is a masterpiece.
The Empress Dowager Ci Xi rebuilt the Palace after the British and French burnt it down in 1888.
There are several biographies about Mao available for reading. They are not short, but worth reading. You will learn a lot about the whole region by reading one. Many westerners, sadly, supported his rise to power knowing full well what he was doing and knowing what he was going to do. Who and why is very interesting.