Our last excursion of the program was Summer Palace. It’s only a subway stop or two away from Peking University East Gate subway station, so you could even go on your own and explore! There is New Summer Palace and Old Summer Palace. We went to the new one.
The day began with intermittent raindrops and grey clouds but by lunchtime, the sun came out just in time for pretty pictures of the palace. When it was raining, Professor Gu got each of us disposable raincoats which made us look like a blue blob walking around. I had to be extra careful with the slippery steps but at the top of the palace, everything looked small and I could see the entire place below. Because of the rain though, not everything looked as beautiful and there were umbrellas everywhere. But by the time we got to the ferry, the rain had stopped and the sun was out.
We took a ferry to the other side of the palace. It was a short ride but definitely worth the time. As we walked back to where our royal lunch was waiting for us, we went into a gallery area inside one of the buildings. There were paintings of flowers and the palace–all very beautiful and almost Impressionism-esque. But the visit to the gallery was very short and we hurried to lunch.
Lunch was probably one the best meals I’ve ever had in China. With dishes filling up the round table, there were countless of different foods I had never tasted before. To say the least, my tummy was absolutely pleased the entire day.
Summer Palace, being so close to Peking University, reminded me that there are places around campus to visit and explore. Not everything and everywhere exciting and new has to be far away. Sometimes, it’s just right next door.