Sunday, July 17, 2011

Second Day in Beijing Part II (7/17/2011)

Sunday, July 17, 2011
After lunch and a short nap, we took the Metro out to the Yiheyuan/Summer Palace (note: for only 2RMB each). It continued to be heavily overcast.
Beigongmen/North Palace Gate:
A separate entrance fee was required for Suzhou Street:
Since we aren't shoppers, we admired Suzhou Street from the bridge:
This area was where the imperial family could play at being commoners, acting as both shopkeepers and customers:
There was a lotus pond, and small tour boats:
Nearly half the Summer Palace complex is still being renovated:
Decorative arch at the Long Bridge:
Kent on the hilly path:
Suyunyan Men/Gate of Cloud Retaining Eaves:
You have to love some of the place names!
Tour boats:
Lotus Pond:
The Summer Palace is one of the four best gardens in China, and was established in 1750. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.
Unique wall:
Bridge (where we were to take shelter):
"Marble" Boat:
A bigger than life-size version of the stone boat feature of Chinese gardens, this was built by Empress Cixi using funds meant for the Imperial Navy. The structure is actually made of wood and painted to look like marble.
Suddenly, a gusting rainstorm started. We took refuge on a covered bridge with umbrellas as a defensive wall, but the rain was blown sideways and drenched our pants:
Thunder and lightning drove us to a safer shelter:
Tour boats in the rain:
After an hour or so of waiting out the storm, we continued along the Long Corridor:
A cypress tree, Qingyao/Pavilion of Clear and Carefree, and Long Corridor:
Lakeside Yuzao Pavilion:
Curving lakeshore and corridor:
Yunhuiyuyu/Archway of Glowing Clouds and Sacred Land:
This arch stands between the lake and Longevity Hill which is the religious section of the palace. Paiyu Men/Gate of Cloud Dispersing and the Tower of Fragrance of the Buddhist Temple:
Bark of a tree that looked like a crape myrtle:
Drenched tourists:
View towards the residential section of the palace:
Rockery covered with vines:
Lotus pond and Wenchang Men/Gate of Flourishing Culture:
We've come quite a ways from Longevity Hill:
Seventeen-arch Bridge:
Bronze Ox:
The ox has the power to prevent flooding of the lake.
Unfortunately they were closing the palace, so we had to leave from the East Side Gate. Could not find the Metro station here, so took a taxi back to the hotel for 120RMB!

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