During our 14 days round trip we experienced the highlights of the
old and new China, with its invaluable cultural heritage and gigantic metropolises,
as well as some of its most beautiful landscapes. We dipped into the Middle
Kingdom and its fascinating culture, which is still today deeply rooted
in ancient traditions and religious rites, experienced people in their
ordinary lives and enjoyed the good Chinese cooking. The journey was so
rich in experiences, information and exotic impressions that the memories
of it will probably stay alive all our lives.
Our tour started at Beijing
and led us by bus, train, ship and plane almost 4000 km across the country
to Shanghai. We saw the imperial palaces, gardens and temples of Peking;
enjoyed, after a somewhat trying ascent, spectacular views from the Great
Chinese wall, and visited the famous Terracotta Army at Xi'an. We experienced
a Kung Fu performance in the Shaolin monastery, to which also belongs the
bizarre appearing Pagoda Forest, and then drove to the Longmen Grottoes
(or caves) where there are about 100,000 Buddha images.
An absolute highlight of the journey was a 3 day cruise along the Yangtze
river through the picturesque scenery of the famous Three Gorges, with
the Three Gorges Dam, and enjoyed fascinating views of the rock formations,
which rise sharply to a height of 1000 m. Afterwards, Shanghai welcomed
us in splendid nocturnal illumination. The flowering, elegant world metropolis,
with its exceptional architecture and its pulsating life, is the epitome
of the emerging china.
The enchanting Classical Chinese Gardens were a special treat – a paradise
for mind and soul, places full of natural beauty and harmony – reflections
of the Chinese philosophy, which considers harmony and balance between
all acting forces as source for happiness and success.