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November 3, 2004 —Day 17

We were soon on our way. The last stop on our tour would be the Temple of Heaven a place where the Earthly ruler talks to the heavenly ruler. As Chinese emperors called themselves Tianzi, or the son of heaven, they had to cede supremacy to the heaven.

Chinese emperors had many other gods to worship apart from the god of heaven, including the gods of earth, water and war. They also worshipped their ancestors. As a result, religious activities were an important part of their busy work schedule. Temples of various kinds are scattered throughout Beijing. The Temple of Heaven is the grandest of them all.

Today it 's a people place with countless seniors involved in many activities. On the way out vendors gave us our last look at the diversity of their selling techniques.

At lunch, our final meal together, we toasted Kara, our escort, for the fine job she had done and mulled over some of the expressions that had been coined.

As Nancy remembers:

  • At our buffet dinner in Guilin, Carol asked "How long can we eat?"
    I loved the warning on the Li River Cruise boat 'Do not proceed over the railing'
    Instead of 'Do not Disturb' the hotel room door sign said 'No Bother'
    I liked Matthew's comment that there ARE speed limits, but "no one cares"

Somewhat sadly, we got ready to make our final China journey — to the airport.

Time to say good bye. After having a great time with our new found friends we left Beijing for home. Crossing the International Dateline, we returned to Canada the same afternoon.

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