Saturday, October 13, 2012


Tuesday 9 October –Beijing (Tianjin), China

As this was the end of the first leg of the cruise we docked very early and were waiting to disembark on our tour at 0600.  The Diamond Princess was docked at the new cruise terminal in the middle of nowhere.  It was built for the Olympics, and there is a lot of reclamation work going on but for much of our trip into Beijing there was nothing but freeways.  The trip was billed as three hours but it was only about two hours for the return trip and around that in the morning.

It was a great sunny day in Beijing and we enjoyed it immensely.

Our first stop was at Tiananmen Square but only briefly.  We then proceeded to the Forbidden City (huge), lunch, then the Temple of Heaven.

Tiananmen Square is the world’s largest central city square and is flanked by significant edifices including the Chinese Revolution History Museum, Mao’s Mausoleum, the Great Hall of the People, Tiananmen (Heavenly Peace Gate) Tower and the Qianmen, and Front Gate.

The Forbidden City is a complex of intricate pavilions, gardens, buildings and courtyards.  It is the largest imperial palace in China, and was home to 24 emperors between 1420 and 1923.

The Temple of Heaven features a huge park built to promote bountiful harvests and favour with heaven.  Opposite sections of the park symbolize Earth and heaven.

Back on board as two of 350 passengers continuing on this second leg, we had dinner, took in some trivia and put our clocks forward after a very full, energetic day.

Wednesday 10 October – At Sea

A pleasant sunny day at sea but with a following cool wind making for a ‘rough’ sea.  On the sheltered deck it was hot, especially in the afternoon.

The port talk was on Busan (Pusan), the band presented Glenn Miller again followed by Majority Rules. 

Another formal night.
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