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21 April 2024
Chinese flag.

We eventually arrived in Beijing & then got held up waiting for our shuttle from the internal terminal to the international terminal at the airport. By the time we got to our gate, the flight was already boarding, & it was not long before we were airborne & on our way home.

Journey Home.

Once again, I noticed that although the plane for the long flight home was larger, the room in our seats was smaller than it was for the internal flights. I enjoyed a few films & ate a last meal before we arrived at Gatwick slightly early. We arrived early, but there was no gate for us to use, so we had to sit on the runway for a half hour before we got a gate.

We all left the plane, collected our luggage & said our goodbyes. I can honestly say I will miss the new friends I have made on this trip & hope that I get to see some of them again. My friend Tony met me at the airport & drove me home to Fareham.

Mum.

When I got home, I found out that Mum had been ill again whilst I had been away. Her cousin Evelyn had been looking after her & had called the doctor more than once. The doctor had told Mum she should be in hospital, but Mum refused to go into hospital. When I returned, the doctor was due out again. Mum finally said she would go into the hospital, but as the doctor explained, the Great English Health Service closed down over the weekend & it would be pointless taking her. He arranged for her to go into the hospital on Tuesday next week.

I am pleased that Mum's cousin Evelyn stayed on for another day as it gave me a chance to unwind after a long flight whilst still knowing that Mum would be looked after even whilst I was asleep.

Summary.

This was a fantastic holiday. It was a very busy holiday & if you want a relaxing break, this holiday is not one you should consider taking. I saw some amazing things in my time in China & met some amazing people. I had eaten far too much & tried strange things like starfish, snakes & scorpions. I had been to see my first opera, seen giant pandas & walked along one of the world's modern wonders.

I had met & become friends with some great travelling companions & hoped to remain friends with them for many years. I had realised what a small world we live in. Some of my companions for this trip were born near where I was born, some live in places I have travelled to whilst tracing my family tree, & some live closer to me & drink in places that I have drunk for years. My long-standing memories of this holiday will be of fantastic places, adventures & fantastic people. I want to thank my travel Rep Branwen, the many local travel guides who showed us around throughout China & all of our drivers who got us about safely & for making it a great holiday. Most of all I would like to thank my travelling companions for your company, friendship & the great memories you have given me of this holiday. I will be meeting some of you again & I hope we may all meet again somewhere, maybe on another trip, but I wish you all love, laughs & happy travel memories from this trip & the ones you are still to make.