We took the Metro to the Xizhimen stop, walked a couple of blocks and then started walking down some of the small alleys heading east. Eventually we should end up near Bai Hai Park.
Don’t try this at home. But can she ride and text at the same time?
An hour or 2 later we end up near the Deshengmen Gate, a remnent of the ancient wall that surrounded central Beijing until 1972.
On our map we see a place called ‘Former residence of Soong Ching-ling’ and decide to visit it. Soong Ching-ling was the wife of Sun Yat-sen, a revolutionary before Mao Zedong, who was the first President of China after the fall of the Manchu dynasty. Soong Ching-ling’s sister, Mei-ling, married Chiang Kai-shek. When China fell to the communists in 1949, Soong Ching-ling backed the communists and remained in China while her sister, Soong Mei-ling fled to Taiwan with her husband. Both the Chinese Nationalists(in Taiwan) and the Communists revere Sun Yatsen.
The residence is in fact a large estate with beautiful tropical gardens, so she lived very well. In the garage sits a large Russian limousine given to Soong by Josef Stalin.
We leave the residence and walk along Bai Hai Park where several old Chinese men are playing checkers and Majong.
We continue to walk to the Drum and Bell Tower where we catch the Metro back to the hotel . We had toured the Drum and Bell Tower 2 years ago and really enjoyed it.
This area of Beijing is the oldest, dating back to the days of Kublai Khan.
At a small restaurant in Henderson Plaza, we have some really good Chinese food with Tsingtao beer. Tommorrow we’ll leave for home, Jeff to Guadalajara, Mexico and I’ll return to Minnesota.
What a fantastic trip we had!!!