The Summer Palace
Trip Start Jan 05, 2011
57Trip End Jun 29, 2011
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Another thing I am looking forward when I get back to the states is grass. And space between buildings. I didn’t hit me until yesterday that that the whole city is like one big maze
The program ends next week, and after that I will be on my own. I still have a list of sights I want to see in Beijing, and I want to visit Shanghai, Chengdu, and Ben and I are talking about taking a short trip to Inner Mongolia with his classmates. Last Saturday I visited the Summer Place and immediately fell in love with it. A big lake surrounded by pagodas, trees and (gasp!) manicured lawns. If there wouldn’t have been 'do not walk on the grass’ signs everywhere I totally would have sprawled out and read a book like I used to do at the Pentacrest in Iowa. I want to visit there a few more times next month and see more of the park. It’s a huge complex and on our trip last Saturday I only saw a portion of it.
Just the small part that I saw was certainly interesting. My favorite highlights were a ship constructed out of marble commissioned by the Dowager Empress Cixi that completely bankrupted the Chinese Navy, and a pagoda that can be seen in the horizon. This pagoda is not part of the Summer Palace itself, but instead is located on just outside the park. It a restricted zone reserved for the Chinese government and is thought of like a Chinese Area 51. There is said to be a secret tunnel from the pagoda into the Summer Palace. I can't wait to see more of it!