When the idea of me going out to see Alice had first arisen, Alice had said one place she would love to go to was the Old Summer Palace. The Old Summer Palace, also know as YuanMingYuan (the gardens of Perfect Brightness, or The Imperial Gardens) is made up essentially of three gardens, and is over 864 acres in size. Most of the buildings were built in the Chinese style but there had been about 10 palaces built in the European style.
Beautiful Lotus flowers
The day Alice and I visited the site was another really hot day, and we knew that the ruins were in the opposite corner of this vast park. We were both feeling a bit tired, but I had read that there were small carriages to take you to the ruins, so we looked out for them. We did not find the carriages but we did find the boats taking people along the waterways which looked very inviting so we decided to take a boat trip. The boats take you out to the ruins, so we paid our fare (which was the grand sum of £2 each!!) and got on the boat.
Travelling along the streams past the water lilies and fountains was wonderful, and as we were at the front of the boat it was a great photo opportunity for me. We finally got to the ‘transition’ station where we all got off the boat. This station marked the end of the streams, before us was a very large lake with the ruins on the far side. Coming across the lake was another boat like the one we had got off, but as we watched a speedboat came roaring across the lake, and, to our surprise some of us passengers were taken aboard and were treated to a speedboat journey across the lake to the ruins!! It was fantastic, and as neither of us had been on a speedboat before it was very thrilling, but did not last long enough!!!!
Approaching the Transition Station, I did not get any photos from the speedboat as I was hanging on very tightly and enjoy the experience!
The next blog will be about the ruins, as they deserve a blog of their own.