Around the Globe with Pauline: China
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The Hagers embark on a 16 day, whirlwind guided tour in China, starting with Beijing. First stop: Tiananmen Square–worlds largest square, filled with thousands of tourists. Within walking distance they visited the Imperial Palace (Forbidden City)-MoreThe Hagers embark on a 16 day, whirlwind guided tour in China, starting with Beijing. First stop: Tiananmen Square–worlds largest square, filled with thousands of tourists. Within walking distance they visited the Imperial Palace (Forbidden City)- worlds largest palace complex, and caught glimpses of rooms showing past lavish lifestyles of emperors and their innumerable concubines. Next, the Great Wall of China, totaling 4000 miles long, with endless views of Yan Mts. A plane ride took them to Wuhan with a visit to the Hubei Provincial Museum, housing cultural relics. At Yichang, they boarded a boat for the Yangtze River Cruise and sailed upstream, stopping at the Three Gorges Dam Site. Transferring to a small riverboat they cruised the Shennong Stream, switching to a sampan for a close-up view of the local minority people, continuing through the Three Gorges, viewing breathtaking scenery of limestone peaks rising over 4000 feet. They took a mini tour, disembarking to visit Fengdu Ghost City, climbing 400 steps to reach the top. Next was a visit to Chongqing Zoo, housing pandas. They flew to Xian to visit the famous Terracotta Armored Warriors, nearly 8000 life-sized warriors unearthed, along with their horses and one hundred chariots found buried in pits with their Chinese Emperor, in about 200 BC. Later attended a Tang Dynasty Music and Dance show. Flew to Shanghai and bussed to the city of Suzhow to visit a silk and furniture factory, and later enjoyed a canal boat tour of the city, noted for its canals and bridges. In Shanghai they strolled along the waterfront promenade-The Bund, the citys financial district, and then a visit to the Shanghai Museum, an impressive modern edifice filled with Chinas antiquities. That evening the tour ended with an acrobatic show, full of spectacular juggling, balancing, and unicycle riding. It was a jam-packed trip with surprises and adventure.In 2008 the Hagers visited the beautiful Cotswold region of England. They rented a car and toured Tewkesbury Abbey, known for its architecture, stained glass and its history, claiming a church has been on the site for over 1200 years. Drove to Stratford-Upon-Avon, they visited Shakespeares home and later saw his play The Taming of the Shrew at the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre. Next was Sudeley Castle, begun in 978 AD (set against the backdrop of the Cotswold Hills) and steeped in history. Other sites included the charming village of Bourton-on-the-Water and the Cotswold Motoring Museum, housing mainly pre-war and some post war English sports cars of all makes and models. Next the Hagers drove to Cumbria in the enchanting Lake District, checking in at a B&B in ancient village of Hawkshead. They happened on the home of Beatrix Potter, author of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, sitting adjacent to their inn. Veering north they drove to the village of Grasmere where William Wordsworth, famed 18th century Romantic poet, rented Dove Cottage in 1799. A visit to the cottage included the Wordsworth Museum and his final home until his death, in 1850, Rydal Mount House and Gardens, overlooking Lake Windermere. Last visit in Cumbria, they drove to Ravenglass to ride the Ravenglass and Eskdale miniature railway, the Lal Ratty. The narrow gauge rail and rail cars were just wide enough for the Hagers to sit abreast and enjoy the ride. A night in Windermere on the shore of Lake Windermere, next morning they headed to York. They toured the National Railway Museum, the worlds largest collection of trains of all kinds, visited the York Minster, started in 1229 and considered the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe. Several hours spent at the York Castle Museum, and later walked the top of the ancient York city walls and gates and sampled the citys pubs and restaurants. York is an interesting city, steeped with vestiges of violent history and a memorable way to end their visit to this remarkable island. Included are photos by Pauline.