Friday, June 12, 2009
China Diary -- Part 8 The Summer Palace
The Summer Palace is on the shores of Kunming Lake, more than two square kilometers in area, a man-made feature. It sits on Longevity Hill, built from the excavated soil of the site. It is one of the most beautiful places in China, and that's saying a lot. We entered the grounds, walked down the the lakeshore and boarded a "dragon boat".
We rode past the Seventeen Arch Bridge,
The Mirror Gate Bridge with theYu Feng Pagoda in the distance,
And the Jade Belt Bridge,
Coming to shore again at the end of the Long Corridor,
Next to the Marble Boat.
From whence we proceeded to the main palace complex, centered on the Buddhist Fragrance Tower.
From there we poked around in the Harmonious Interests Garden, the Emperor's Administrative Area, taking pictures all the while. Eventually we arrived at the East Gate where our buses were waiting to take us back to the city center for a dinner of traditionally-prepared Peking Duck. There was no time left to visit the Heart Warming View or the Pavilion of Great Blessings [I love these names].
Dinner was great. The company was good. At last we again boarded the buses, headed back to our hotel, and [after tending to our laundry] fell blissfully asleep. There would be a lot to do and see tomorrow.