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Saturday, May 11, 2013

China, Fresh Pineapple And The Summer Palace

 

 

2013-04-23 20.22.56 After enjoying a delicious free noodle soup for breakfast with black tea at Chinese Box Hostel, I set out on my second day in Beijing with a minor agenda.

 

 

 

 

The first business of the day is to pick up my train ticket for the start of my trip this evening to Tibet. Next, a visit to the Summer Palace and then a stop at Wal-Mart for train provisions.

Compared to late last night the streets are bustling with activity and I am glad to see a fresh fruit market that is open.

For about US$1, I am chomping down on a fresh pineapple that is as sweet and full of flavor as can be. Like mangoes, this is one fruit I can eat any time of the day, morning, noon or night.

 

2013-04-23 05.44.57 At a train ticket outlet I pay less than a dollar (RMB$5) and I have a hard copy of my “44 Hour Ticket To Ride” in hand.

 

 

 

 

A few minutes later and I am on Subway Line 4 headed for Beigongmen Station and The Summer Palace.

 

 

 

CH PEK D2 CAN 042Summer Palace

 

 

Built in 1750, The Summer Palace was an imperial garden and temporary home of the royal family during the Qing Dynasty. For about five dollars (RMB$30) you can enjoy a part of China's history that in the past only royalty and special guests had the privilege of doing.

 

 

CH PEK D2 008 The grounds of The Summer Palace are almost overwhelming and there is just too much to see in such a short time. Many of the cool artifacts are in areas that have additional entrance fees.

 

 

 

I mostly opt for the free stuff except for a ten dollar (RMB$60) boat tour across Kunming Lake that takes us under The Seventeen Arch Bridge and drops us off on South Lake Island.

Today, the weather here is beautiful and it is enjoyable just to stroll the grounds of the palace and take in the scenery. Across The Seventeen Arch Bridge a few of us are entertained by a group of dancers I call “The Summer Palace Girls”.

 

 

CH PEK D2 CAN 046 The Seventeen Arch Bridge

 

The Bronze Ox from the mid 1700's and The Blue Iris Stone, the largest stone decoration in any Chinese garden are just a few of the impressive items on display as I make my way to exit out of The East Gate.

 

CH PEK D2 046 An interesting display I am not expecting as I exit, “The Summer Palace Tourist Volume Forecast” which shows a total of 26,000 visitors yesterday and a forecast of 36,001 for today.

 

 

 

I wonder how they knew that I was the extra one that was coming. Very interesting, Kato.

 

 

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