So, I’m finally doing what y’all expected and posting tourist-y things on this here blog.
The summer palace was the first touristy place we visited, and it was beautiful. It was also packed with people. But it was still beautiful.
We were even super-touristy and took the boat ride to get there, along a beautiful canal filled with boats, swimmers, people fishing out the weeds, a few dogs, and the occasional fisherman.
Unfortunately, I was having some camera issues (as in, my settings got changed from automatic focus and I didn’t know it!) when we first left, so a few of these are blurry.
It was a very peaceful boat ride, with the sun shining in from the water, the boat rocking peacefully, and the tour guide telling a Chinese legend. Sadly, that part was in Chinese, so don’t quiz me on my legendary knowledge of China!
The first thing we saw when we landed was this bridge. It was extremely tall.
And of course, since it WAS very tall, Jared wanted me to climb it. I tried–truly I did–but made it about a third of the way up. I did take a picture of a teeny tiny Jared about 3/4ths of the way up (all the way up was too far!).
That over, we started walking and enjoying the gorgeous views of the lake and mountains. I could see why the Emperor and court would want to relax here for the summer.
Somehow, Chinese emperors liked their bridges. This one’s the bridge of the 27 or 17 arches or something like that, and apparently it’s quite famous.
As we walked further, we kept getting closer to the actual palace. The view from far away is almost as good as the close up view.
It was guarded by a massive stone gate, so if anyone came into the surrounding area (which was also walled off and gated), they could still be defended.
Once we were inside, there was a really long walkway entirely covered in paintings. Some of them had been defaced for some reason, but I’m not sure why! Apparently it’s the longest walkway of the sort in China.
After walking all the way through the long walkway, we came to the entrance of the temple in the Summer Palace, and, of course, they make you pay more to go inside once you get there!
I think the monks of the palace used to live here, and apparently they had to do a lot of climbing all day long. There were stairs in the rocks to get to this little building on the very tippy top, and then there were more stairs to the main building.
We took the safer route of the stairs up to the second level, though. And there were still a lot of them!
But the view from the top was gorgeous. And the best thing? No pollution that day. It really was lovely to see such clear blue skies.
Sadly, today we’re back in the realm of pollution levels over 400–and we’re very thankful for our air filters!
I’m sure you’re all tired of hearing me ramble on, (and these pictures take forever to upload), so I’ll save the Forbidden City for another post.