The Third Weekend - Friday
27.06.2008 - 27.06.2008 28 °C
Friday, June 27, after taking the weekly exam, a few friends and I took the ten minute walk to Black Bamboo Park with the intention of taking a ferryboat across the lake to the Summer Palace. (The park’s Chinese name literally translated is Purple Bamboo Park, but the English signs on its grounds still use the Black Bamboo translation.)
This is Black Bamboo Park, my favorite park in Beijing. Trails wind through bamboo groves, lakes are as pictured, and best of all, it is peacefully tourist free.
This photo and the following photo are Will’s work. More of his photos at www.flickr.com/bellumdeus
The work of a zoom lens superior to mine.
Black Bamboo Park was one of the three unused Olympic protest zones.
While wandering through Black Bamboo Park we realized we had two options, pay a large sum to paddleboat our way across the large lake or take the bus for a mere 4 mao (less than one US cent). We took the bus.
We decided to eat lunch outside of the Summer Palace. This was a mistake. One overpriced Western restaurant and another overpriced Chinese restaurant, both with low quality food, were our choices. I regret choosing the Chinese one with the undercooked chicken.
Jacob has the Chinese population enraptured.
The Summer Palace.
In Beijing there is an Old Summer Palace and a New Summer Palace, which share a muddled history. I have only visited the new one.
The Old and New Summer Palace were both lavish garden estates, and both were destroyed by British and French forces in 1860 during the Second Opium War. The Old Summer Palace was never rebuilt and remains a symbol of devastating foreign aggression in China. Empress Dowager Cixi began restoring the New Summer Palace in 1888, which the Eight-Nation Alliance (Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, UK, US) destroyed for the second time in 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion. Empress Cixi began rebuilding again in 1903, and this is the Summer Palace open to the public today.
Thus the irony of a place attracting thousands of foreign admirers, while symbolizing a history of foreign aggression and intolerance.
In the bottom right hand corner of this picture is the Chinese man pictured below as he also takes a picture of me.
This is after he got a picture of us together. Matt’s on the right.
The ceiling of the previously pictured pavilion structure.
The boat we wish had ferried us from Black Bamboo Park to the Summer Palace.
The bridge most often associated with the Summer Palace. Photo courtesy of Will (www.flickr.com/bellumdeus).
Will, Jacob, Matt, and Adam. I believe the position was Matt’s idea?
The desktop wallpaper of a computer in a dentist’s office. Or perhaps I’m flattering myself. Rocks.
Peering into the Empresses’ Palace.
The Long Corridor.
I thought others might like to know the intermediary steps. It took about ten minutes of ascending to reach the next building.
The outer wall of the Buddha’s temple.
Fotou. (The pinyin for Buddha in Mandarin Chinese. Pinyin is the Romanization system currently used for the study of Mandarin Chinese.)
Will was nice enough to take a picture of me gazing into the horizon.
Another building I don’t know the official name of.
I call the building Old Rocky.
This one I call Two Towers.
A view on the way back down.
The Marble Boat is made of wood.
This man began spontaneously drawing Jacob’s face in a plate. I suppose he makes his living this way.
Next we bought ice cream and followed the Long Corridor to the exit.
Tomorrow, the Great Wall!