Sunday, September 14, 2008

Yuanming Yuan - Old Summer Palace

Sunday September 14, 2008 Mid Autumn Festival (Moon Festival).

Saturday we spent the day at home mostly due to fact that I was working. We have been very busy at work trying to get a couple of high profile projects delivered. Sunday we decided to visit the Old Summer Palace which is actually newer than the Summer Palace we visited back in July. This palace was built in the early 1700's and had many European influences. It was later destroyed during the second opium war in 1860. The weather was perfect not too hot with clear skies. We took a cab which cost us 10 yuan or about $1.50 (I think that is what the CDTA bus fare is now). The admission to the park is 10 Yuan and the ruins section is an additional 15 Yuan. Many people were there on Sunday doing the same thing we were doing "just enjoying a beautiful late summer day". The front gate of the park was adorned with a beautiful display of the Chinese zodiac and lilly pad flowers were in bloom and were on show too.

The park is big and has many ruins sites around it the first ruin we saw was an old bridge. In it's hey day there were over 200 bridges in the gardens.

We were looking for the European style ruins as these were pictured in the guidebook. So off we went in search. Getting around this park was little more challenging than the other attractions that we have visited. The signage here was all in Chinese. Unfortunately I have not learned to read Chinese characters.
Like most of the imperial gardens we visit you have to do alot of walking. Sandy wore the pedometer today and we racked up 8 miles. We saw a former complex where I imagine traditional Chinese buildings made of wood once stood. All that was left are the foundations.

There was a really cool looking rock formation that was part of the garden. It had a path on the top and caves below.

This particular site was home to many wood peony. I bet it is pretty in the spring when they are in bloom.
We ventured along looking for more ruins and all we seemed to find was more gardens.
We took pictures along the way. Here is Sandy sitting lake side.

Me and my statue pose.

We stopped to Olivia have stretch and a snack. She was having a great time running around but we had to stay close because of the ponds she was very interested in.

Here we are running across a bridge.

A little girl gave Olivia a balloon. This happens all the time here.

We noticed people walking around using a lotus leaf as a hat. So we picked a leave and when in Rome. I mean China...

After walking around in circles we finally found the European ruins site. We paid an additional fee to enter this site and checked it out. It was pretty cool. Many pictures follow.

The Emperor had a maze built on this site too. We spent some time navigating the maze trying to get to the center. We eventually made it.

The next couple of weeks will be busy as Sandy's Mom will be arriving Wednesday... I'll try to post when I have a free moment.

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