the Summer Palace. It gets really hot in the summertime in the city, so they enlarged Kunming lake and built a palace on the hill next to it, where they went to swim and relax. Today we went to see this marvelous place. However, as you may be aware, it is not summertime (in fact, it's downright freezing here!) You may think this may make it worse, but it actually is a sight to be seen. The entire lake is frozen over, along with all of the little channels that run through the property. People ice skate and sled on the ice.
The architecture is gorgeous. The roofs are all hip and gable and have jade statues of dragons and different sorts of other animals on the peaks. There are arched stone bridges across the channels. The interiors of the buildings are all carved woodwork, meticulously painted. The palace sits on a hill where you can see for miles and has a great view of the frozen lake with all the little skaters on it.
However, even though all of this was great, my favorite (or maybe the thing that amused me the most) was the names of things. Here are a few examples. See if you can guess what kind of structure these are.
The Realm of Multitudinous Fragrance: If your answer was "a stone and brick archway", you are right! Apparently it was thought that it resembled the holy land of the Buddha, hence the name.
Hall of Dispelling Clouds: Yup, it's a hall. It was built to celebrate the Empress' birthday.
Garden of Harmonious Interests: Yup, it's a garden. I guess you can't go there with anyone you don't agree with? P.S. Mr. Lovely and I did not go there.
Okay the last two weren't that difficult. But isn't that fun? Don't you want to visit those places? Doesn't it seem like nothing but good could come to you here? Have you read Anne of Green Gables? Don't those names sound like something she would make up? There are also names such as The Hall of Benevolence and Longevity, The Hill of Longevity, The Temple of the Sea of Wisdom and many more.
I guess what I am trying to say is, even if you come to Beijing in the winter time, don't let the name fool you; the Summer Palace is just as fun in the wintertime!!
What is your favorite place to go in the summer/winter? What is your favorite fun(ny) name of a place near you? (P.S. Near my parents' house are the towns of Cool, CA and Maybe, CA.)