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Trip to China

china-1.jpgI set off for China on 22 April. I was in a big hurry as my Chinese friend had informed me that this year of all years the flowering of the peonies was two weeks earlier than normal, this being due to a wet Autumn and a warm spring. I didn't waste any time, so after arriving in Beijing it was straight to Train Station and then a seven-hour train journey down to Heze in Shandong province. I arrived at my destination twenty-seven hours after leaving Dublin. I was met by my friend Mr Henry Lu, who took good care of me and gave me a warm welcome and showed me the hospitality that the people of Shandong are renowned for. As the provinces most illustrious son Confucius said in The Annelcets "Is it not a great pleasure to have guests coming from afar". The next morning I was taken on a tour of the "Caozhow One Hundred Flower Garden". This Garden was first built during the period of Emperor Jia Jing of the Ming Dynasty. About 400 years ago. This garden has numerous varieties of precious and famous peonies and tree peonies, including one said to be over four hundred years old, and producing about 400 flowers each year.

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