Show Your World – Summer Palace

Welcome to Show Your World blog event!

Here’re the main guidelines:
– tell us about an interesting place – it can be somewhere in your home country or a destination that you visited
– instead of just giving us facts about this location, use your words to show it to us as well – the way it looks, sounds, smells, conveying its atmosphere

Let’s make the entries pretty short – up to 300 words, but I won’t be very strict about it. Photos are welcome, but not a must.

Reminder – Show Your World is now a monthly event! I will publish my own story every 1st Saturday of a month and everybody’s welcome to either place a ping back to this post or share your link in a comment below. I would collect these links and post a round up on the 3rd Saturday of a month (it’s 18th of April this time), sharing all the links and short descriptions of submitted stories. I will also share the links and images on my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Please, let me know your social network names, so I can tag you.

Make sure that you add ShowYourWorld tag to your entries, so that others can easily find you.

You can use this badge on your blog or on the post, which you submit:

ShowYourWorld

Summer Palace is the largest Royal Park in China, consisting of lakes, hills and various palace buildings. It was built outside the city (right now it’s situated inside Beijing city limits) as a summer residence for the royal family. Obviously, magnificent Forbidden City residence got too stressful at times, forcing its inhabitants to travel 20km to the distant countryside.

We visited this marvellous park with my husband in 2008 during the October holidays. We haven’t realised before that it was not a wise timing – internal tourism is a big thing in China, so state holidays are the busiest times to go anywhere near the main sights, as thousands of Chinese from other provinces make it difficult to navigate. Here’s an average amount of visitors at one of the alleyways of Summer Palace. Occasionally, it got worse.

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Nevertheless, even this fact could not distract from the sheer scale of things there. The park itself is 2.9 sq. km. and 2.2 sq. km. is the size of the Kunming Lake, dominating the space. Behind it, you can see the Longevity Hill with royal pavilions.

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Impressive, right? But what makes it even more impressive is the fact that the lake and the hill are manmade; while there was a small lake on the site, it’s size and depth were greatly increased by manual work, without any help of machinery. The soil, excavated from this area, served to make the Longevity hill, seen on the background.

Even though it was really hot, humid and crowded, it was an amazing trip – walking around this historical place you feel humbled by what was achieved centuries ago by people without the help of modern technology. Various lakes and channels, islands and bridges, garden pavilions and massive palace buildings. The design of all buildings is so intricate, with such attention to detail.

It says that the Summer Palace was originally called the Garden of Clear Ripples. Just imagine this lake without the hundreds of tourist catamarans, with only a couple of royal boats floating on its mirror surface. No noise from the crowd, just serene silence, with birds singing in the garden trees. Quiet pathways up the hill, with intricately placed boulders and sculptures. A heavenly retreat for those, who were considered close to Gods at their time.

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You can visit this Wikipedia page to find more information and photos of Summer Palace (they’re actually much better than those, I managed to find among my files :)

I’m looking forward to reading your stories! This month you’ve got 2 weeks to write. Share them here and I will be sharing them later with my readers across social media.

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