Saturday, July 03, 2010

Wednesday, 6/30/10 8:45 p.m. Far East International Youth Hostel 333

The word for the day is exhausted.

Woke up about 5:30 a.m.  Got up, had tea and our pastries from Starbucks and headed out to the Summer Palace.  Took the subway and got off a stop too early so we walked through Yuanmingyuan Park which is where the old Summer Palace ruins are.  A beautiful park which we didn't explore as much as we should have since it was hot (!?) and our target was really the Summer Palace.

Got the audio guide which was quite totalitarian, paternalistic and disappointing.  It only plays when it wants to, only plays each venue once and sometimes doesn't play when it should.

But the Summer Palace is spectacular.  I much prefer it to the the Forbidden City.  It's very similar, except the Summer Palace is spectacularly built up a hill.  At one point, the buildings are simply cascading down the hill.  There's a beautiful lake at the base of the hill and it all just makes for a stunning setting with all the ornate imperial buildings.

For lunch we ate at the Court Food and wondered if it was an intentional play on the idea of Food Court or if that's really what they meant but got backwards.

A long subway ride back and I crashed.  I slept for 2 hours and still almost couldn't get up for dinner.  But I did and we went out for Peking duck, which was surprisingly good, especially considering that I don't like duck.

Had a successful bargaining session on the way back to the hostel wherein I got 6 18 yuan bottle costumes for 85 yuan.

Tomorrow the Great Wall and then the overnight train to Pingyao.  Hard sleeper class.  Oh boy.

1 comment:

Susan said...

You're a good bargainer.