Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Summer Palace on hot and steamy day

July 27, 2008 - Saturday was a lounge around house and hang out at the mall day. It has been very hot and humid here. Many of you have probably seen news reports about the air quality here in Beijing. It's true this past week has been very bad and Sunday was no exception. It was like a sauna outside but we were tired of looking at the walls of the apartment and since we're in China we might as well go do some sightseeing. I decided to take Sandy and Olivia to the Summer Palace. I visited there on my trip back in January and learned that the Palace has a huge lake and lots of gardens. I was excited to see what the palace looked like in summer so off we went. We hopped in a cab right out in front of our apartment for the short 15 minute drive to the Summer Palace. The Summer Palace is rich with history and culture and is very beautiful and serene even with lots of people everywhere. Olivia rode in the back pack again and she really seems to enjoy it very much. Our first stop was at the lake shore where the lotus were in blossom.
We then made our way over to the Long Corridor where many people were just just hanging around enjoying the day. We came upon a man playing an instrument similar to a zither. We took this small video of him playing.

We walked along the corridor and made it to the entrance for Longevity Hill. At the top are great views of Beijing(on clear days) and a Buddha temple. This is what it looks like from the bottom of the hill.

Here are a few of us at the bottom near the gate.

The Lion Statues are very prominent in China and guard entrance ways everywhere. This is the male form which can be identified by the ball under his front paw and is always on the right. The female form on the left has a baby lion under her paw.

Me and Olivia getting ready to make the climb.

This is only the beginning of the climb. More stairs were to come. These were gradual comparatively. The climb is well worth it as you can see many tradional buildings and the temple. Here you can see some of the buildings. Notice the one in the center is is made of bronze.

This is the Thousand Hand Buddha.

And finally getting ready to climb back down.

When we arrived at the bootom it was time for a rest for mom and dad and time for the Olivia to be set free from her back pack. Olivia always manages to make friends every where she goes and the summer palace was no exception.

This little one was after her cookie but Olivia wasn't in the mood for sharing and pushed her hand away.

So Olivia is a big hit everywhere she goes and she has many many friends here in China. We ventured on our exploration of the Summer Palace. I wanted to see the marble boat as I didn't get to see it the last time I was here. Below are some pictures.

And we asked someone to snap our picture.

We looked around a little more and took this shot of one of the many dragons boats that cruise the lake.

It was time for lunch so we found a nice air conditioned palce to eat. The menu was good and was in english which made ordering easy. It was really getting hot so we headed home. Until next time...

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