Last Thursday we took a trip to our first historical site here in China, the Old Summer Palace. It wasn’t the Summer Palace that most people visit, but one even older than that. It was built around colonial times. The palace (which isn’t really a palace anymore, only ruins) was surrounded by a beautiful garden which we enjoyed walking through before entering the ruins. There were awesome marble bridges and hoards of lotus growing in the ponds. It cost slightly more to get into the ruins, but it was definitely worth it. Our total cost to get 7 people in both the park and the ruins was 105 yuan (which is about 15 US dollars), which is pretty inexpensive considering the awesome things we saw.
This is a picture of the view from the middle of the Emperor’s maze close to the palace. The maze is open to visitors, and we had a small competition to see who could get to the pavilion in the center of the maze first. From youngest to oldest we set out 30 seconds apart. The wall is only about four feet tall, but it added a challenge for Annie and Eli, who’s heads barely peeked over the wall. In the end, it was Eli who conquered the maze first, I was second, and Scarlett was third. Isaac, Annie, and Nana eventually joined us in the pavilion and Dad arrived last. In true Amazing Race style, we informed him that “he had been eliminated…” ;). We took a short water break in the pavilion that was built purely for the entertainment of the Emperor, and Isaac and I were dragged into a picture or two…literally, there was no escape. Isaac becomes quite popular when Abel is not around. (There was also a photography club in the garden who shamelessly took photos as well. Who knew we were such an attraction? ;)) Eventually we continued on, and saw many other old Chinese ruins. I was surprised to see how the buildings followed after the French and English style, with it’s elaborately carved white marble. There was also a bust of Victor Hugo near the end of the park (for no reason that I could identify), and Dad paused to get a picture with him (and Eli tried to pick the statue’s nose…figures…). We eventually began the sweaty return home to our apartment, satisfied by our second successful adventure of the week.
(But we still have not found the Forest Park….hm…)