Beijing, Day 9, June 16 – Ashley Pierce

As the Adams and Andrew headed off to the Military Museum Christine and I made our way to the Summer Palace which was just a subway and a taxi ride away from Adam S’ hotel. Although we got to the summer palace around 3:30 we only managed to see a fraction of it because the Chinese like to do things on a very large scale it seems. The whole complex covers about 716 acres which is mostly dominated by Kunming Lake, an entirely man made lake. The Summer Palace is a very poetic space and the long corridor that you can walk along between Longevity Hill and the lake has images from Chinese classical literature, folk tales, historical and legendary figures, and famous Chinese buildings, landscapes, flowers, birds, fish, and insects. We also saw the marble boat, crossed the Seventeen-Arch Bridge and generally just enjoyed the beautiful landscaping and architecture. We also passed a man who was doing water calligraphy on the stone walkways. We managed to make it through the rest of the afternoon without getting poured on again. When it was time to leave we were pestered by taxi drivers vying for our money. We finally found a suitable driver and made it back to the subway.