mentioned previously that Anne and I aren't normally prone to taking
guided tours, but do so when we are visiting countries where the
culture and language is very different from our own, like China.
Our primary reason for not liking escorted tours deals with freedom
and choices. On guided tours you are not free to do what you want
and you can't make individual choices to control your activities.
Your are always subject to the schedule and the others on the tour.
On this, our first day of sightseeing in China, we would again justify
that tours are not always wonderful.
at Tiananmen Square our escort and local guide provided very good
briefings of what we were seeing and about to see in the Imperial
Palace. I missed most of these discussions because I was busy making
the best of the opportunity to take pictures. I learned quickly
you can't listen and take pictures too, there just isn't enough
time. Having discussed an item of interest they quickly moved onto
the next item of interest. This wasn't a problem while in Tiananmen
Square and going through the initial parts of the Imperial Palace.
While it was interesting the photographic opportunities were limited,
in part, because of the weather and just the nature of the subject.
But, at the very end of the walk through we entered what I consider
to be the most beautiful part of the Imperial Palace, the gardens.
Apparently the tour company did not share this same feeling. We
had less than ten minutes to enjoy the garden before having to leave
for the bus. What a disappointment that was. John and I could have
spent hours there just photographing the beautiful things we saw.
first thing to catch our attention were beautiful gnarled trees
lining one of the walkways. The patterns in the gnarled wood were
absolutely beautiful and interesting to look at and photograph.
Leaving the Imperial Palace grounds we passed through severl
ornate gates and long, narrow walkways
Thousand Autumn Pavillion
allotted few minutes in the Imperial Garden was not nearly enough
for us to enjoy its spendors. We were very dissappointed that we
had to leave, but that's the price you pay for joining a tour. John
and I vowed to return, but there just wasn't enough free time for
us to do so.
to the next page and see one of China's most beautiful royal residences
... the Summer Palace.