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Final Day in Beijing

Published on Saturday 25 January, 2014

Today is our last day in Beijing before we return to the UK. There have been one or two little challenges over the last two weeks which we have overcome and I am proud that the company has given some excellent performances and done a great job as cultural Ambassadors for our city and the UK in general.

There has been one little joy of staying in the Qiamen Jianguo Hotel in Beijing which is the constant fear of electrocution from static electricity. I have never known anything like it and gives quite a belt. You can't touch lift call buttons or room doors without a spark but we have developed strategies for coping. The room key card works quite well for pressing the lift buttons which are quite light touch but you need something more sturdy for the room door which is not always available. The worse belts come from what I am doing now - writing on my laptop and once you have started it is best not to walk away mid-job and always keep a finger in contact with the computer!

Anyway, today was a much later start so time for some last sightseeing, shopping or for some, sleeping, after a couple of late nights in the Beijing Karaoke bars!

As we missed our organised trip to the Great Wall on Monday when we were in Hangzhou, Young provided a driver to take us on a short visit visit this morning. I have been to Badaling (where the company went) several times so as an alternative we went to Mutianyu which is possibly a little further away but a great place to view the Wall with a cable car to take you up.

It was a lovely sunny day and pretty warm for the time of the year.

The Great Wall at Mitianyu

Mark and Yoko on the Wall

David and Yoko on the Wall

The journey back to the city was more direct and the traffic seemed to be a little lighter than on the outward journey.

As we have not had that much time in Beijing, we didn't get to see more of the famous sights but on the way back to the hotel we drove past the entrance to the Forbidden City.

Entrance to the Forbidden City

We also drove around the vast Tian'anmen Square.

Tiananmen Square

The coach set off for the theatre at 3.15 for the final class in Beijing at 4pm. There was no need for rehearsal today.

Prior to the performance, we had dinner in the Western Restaurant on the 4th floor of the theatre which was open for the first time during our run of performances. It is a pleasant environment with excellent food.

Western Restaurant

The Chairman and Young joined us.

Final Dinner

And so to our final performance which returned to the Beijing opening night cast. It was another excellent performance from the Company which was well received from probably the largest audience of our Beijing season.

The final curtain on China 2014.

The Final Curtain

Tomorrow morning most of us set off for the airport at 8.30 for our midday flight back to Amsterdam on route to Manchester. The company are on holiday for a week so some are taking the opportunity to visit friends and family rather than returning straight to the UK.

I hope this Blog has been informative over the last couple of weeks and hopefully when we have all returned to the UK it will be possible to share more photographs of the trip.

Mark Skipper DL, Northern Ballet's Chief Executive. Photo Simon Lawson.
Chief Executive

The views expressed in blogs are those of the author and not necessarily of Northern Ballet.