by mas900 — last modified Jun 11, 2014 03:06 PM
A visit to the Summer Palace
It’s our last week in Beijing and while we’ve seen most of our list of tourist attractions, one still remains: the summer palace. The previous night we arranged to meet in the lobby at ten, we actually met at eleven. Close enough. Panos joined in as well and we made our way to the subway. It was about a fourty minute journey, but we’re used to it by now. Xiaru tried to use our PSU ID’s to get a student discount for the entry ticket, but alas we had to pay sticker price: about ten USD. Once through the gate, we passed under a large wooden entryway decorated in the typical classical style. Wooden structures painted orange-red with intricate blue, green, and gold paintings of dragons as bordering. Roofs made of some sort of sculpted tiling. It formed rows of glazed orange cylinders that ran down the angled roofs. Each was capped with an engraving of a dragon. Through the entry way was a white stone bridge which passed over a small river. Around the river was a sunken town which hugged the water and was spanned by the bridge. We would return later to lazily walk around there, but now we pushed on. Past the bridge was a hill. Or a structure, it was hard to tell. Large rocks and inclined ground were mixed about with stone staircases, supporting walls, and buildings. At the top of the hill we came to a small area. Ahead was a drop to a large temple. To the left were paths through green grass. The temple was actually the peak of a hill of buildings that dropped down to a large lake which lined the bottom of the summer palace. The paths were seemly built for a relaxing stroll. Surrounded by trees and grass, I was glad we came on such a beautiful day. The path’s eventually came to more small towns and stages. The palace was beautiful, tranquil, and complex. And I won’t bore you with more details, but I will say it was my favorite place in Beijing.