Summer Palace

This morning we slept in a bit and then spent some time attempting to get Conference online.  It is interesting to note that I have had no problem what-so-ever getting here in China.  It is not blocked and can be accessed without a VPN!   For some reason the internet was super slow and so we gave up and headed out to see some sights.  We have only 6 days left in China and we want to take advantage of every minute!

Rather than attempt to take a taxi all the way across Beijing, we opted to try our hand at buses and the subway!  It turned out to be pretty easy, but super crowded!  After taking the 937 bus to Dawangdu, we took the line 1 on the subway to Xidan and then the 4 to Beigongmen .  I have to tell you that we did get a little turned around before catching the 1st subway train because the bus stop is on the opposite side of a very large mall from the subway.  It was not as “easy to see” as the doorman said it would be.  Oh well, we love getting lost once in a while because we always find something fun!  Today, it was a store selling upscale perfume and oh, did it smell heavenly!  Yum!

Anyway, back to the subway…on our second train we met a sweet little family that sat next to us.  They had two beautiful daughters (unusual!), and we could tell that these girls were very loved.  Both the mother and the father were dotting and sweet with both children.  The baby had a constant grin and the older girl kept giving the baby hugs and kisses.  It was so sweet!  After a few minutes, my girls couldn’t resist and went over to “talk” to the baby and by the time we got off the train the girls had sung school  songs with the older daughter, played peek-a-boo with the baby and had a discussion with the father about how our family is part Chinese.  Both families also snapped photos of each other!  ;o)  I walked away with a sweet feeling of a loving family and will always remember our encounter!

As soon as we exited the subway station Pie spied a Mickey D’s and begged to have lunch.  We relented and had a nice lunch of “Chinese flavored chicken wings” and fries.  (Oh, just thinking about all those trans-fats is making me sick….oh well!)

The entrance fee to The Summer Palace is the most reasonable yet!  Only Y30 for each person above 1.2 meters, so the littles were free.  Most of the walk to the top is on rock stairs that are more uneven than the Great Wall (if that is possible!)  My poor knees are aching tonight!

Once were were “over the mountain” we caught a boat so that we could see the sites from the lake.  It was well worth the Y10 price for each ticket!  We also walked along the covered walk way, but quickly abandoned that because the vendors were SO annoying and opted for a boat ride through Suzhou and back to the main gate!

We traveled home by subway and bus again and are loving getting around for such a small amount!  The subways here in Beijing are so much nicer than the ones we encountered in D.C. in September and S.F. in November!  I guess the Chinese are getting this one right too!  (I’ll be so happy for the folks in Xi’an when their subway opens!  It is really a pleasant way to get around a busy busy city!)

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