Our first stop of the day was the Summer Palace.
Mainly dominated by Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake , it covers an expanse of 2.9 square kilometres (1.1 sq mi), three-quarters of which is water.
Longevity Hill is about 60 metres (200 feet) high and has many buildings positioned in sequence. The front hill is rich with splendid halls and pavilions, while the back hill, in sharp contrast, is quiet with natural beauty. We walked around the lake to the base of the hill to see the white building in the distance.
After lunch we continued our journey to the last place we were to visit on our tour of China - the Great Wall!
Several walls were being built as early as the 7th century BC; these, later joined together and made bigger and stronger, are now collectively referred to as the Great Wall. Especially famous is the wall built 220–206 BC by Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. Little of that wall remains. Since then, the Great Wall has on and off been rebuilt, maintained, and enhanced; the majority of the existing wall is from the Ming Dynasty. The history of the wall is fascinating, you can follow this link if you wish to read more about it.
Some of our group walked quite a way but we decided to retire to the small cafe/bar for refreshments to wait for them there.
On the way back to the hotel we passed the Olympic Village in Beijing.
Back at the hotel we had time to freshen up before meeting up with our fellow travellers again in the hotel restaurant for our last meal together, and time to reflect on the highlights of the tour, of which there were many. We had an early start the following morning for the journey to the airport and our flight home so we didn't stay up late but we did have a few drinks to celebrate.
It truly was an amazing holiday and if you have ever thought of doing it you really should, you will not be disappointed. I really hope I have brought some of the magic of China to your armchair and I'm sure we will relive it all many times when we look through our photographs.