Day 2: Where We Are
Anna's family has an awesome area to live. There is a courtyard between the complexes with a basketball court, a garden that is maintained, a bike repair guy right down the road in case anyone needs something fixed on the fly. Pretty sweet. The apartment has four bedrooms, a full kitchen, a couple rooms for entertainment and office purposes, and a porch like room that serves as an area for the garden. I would often find myself forgetting that I was in China, and then I stepped outside.
The most difficult thing I encountered on our trip was the language barrier. So on the first day when we ventured into the city to walk down to the police station and register our stay, it was both strange and exciting to be sitting in a room full of people not knowing a single word anyone was speaking.
After our morning of registering with the police, we decided to hit the ground running and visit one of the sites on our list. So we managed to visit the Summer Palace during the afternoon, and later that evening we met up with the rest of Anna's family that hadn't yet seen us for some amazing food.
Summer Palace is a marvel of landscape architecture and garden design that has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site. First known as, "the Garden of Clear Ripples," it was later destroyed by allied forces during the Second Opium War (1856-60). It wasn't until 1886-95 that it was reconstructed by Emperor Guanxu and named, "Summer Palace." intended for use by Empress Dowager Cixi. The palace took damage in 1900 during the supression of the Boxer Rising and was then restored in 1902. The palace became public in 1924.
Oh yeah, and the infamous marble boat was under construction while we were there, so tough luck on that one, but hey, I got a picture of the picture they put up of the real thing!
Petty cabs are pretty awesome.So this is how dishes come. clean and sanitized in shrink wrapNang Chao Rou (stir fried bread and cumin lamb)Red noodle dishPeanutsXi long hua (broccoli w/garlic)Yang rou chuanr (lamb kebabs)