I try to avoid redeye flights whenever possible, but I got a wonderful night’s sleep in the soft sleeper section of the night train from Shanghai to Beijing. We arrived at the Beijing railway station:
We then went to a rehearsal at Peking University, as our first concert at the Great Hall of the People combined with the Peking University Orchestra, the Tsinghua University Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, and the China Central Conservatory of Music Chorus.
After rehearsal it was off to the Summer Palace:
During the Qing dynasty, restoration of the Summer Palace was funded by money intended for modernizing the Chinese Navy. This had dire consequences later during conflict with Japan. The Marble Boat might be seen as a symbol of contentious engineering-management relationships over the centuries:
To keep 300 people organized and accounted for during the tour, we all stayed on the same buses throughout the two weeks. Bus 8 was a nice easy-going bus with great company and fantastic tour guides in Jessica (Shanghai) and June (Beijing). Here’s a Bus 8 group photo from the Summer Palace: