Monday, May 10, 2010

Summer Place - Amazing Beauty Post 4

Ni Hao!

Wonderful! Yesterday we enjoyed the final time of this trip in Beijing. It was a wonderful city full of life, culture, history, yet bustling with growth and future. It is a marvel at how one city can contain so much, we saw a lot, yet so much more is unseen. We most definitely will return to Beijing in the future. So much is changing with the new generation and the culture, it was very interesting to talk with Jack, he was very knowledgeable about China and world events.
Our guide, Jack, was the best. We loved him, a very genuine man with a wife and daughter (whom he loves very much).

We barely made our plane to Xian because we could hardly pull ourselves away from the Emperor's Summer Palace. It was the most beautiful, serene place you could imagine this side of heaven. The Emperor around 1400 built it as a birthday gift to his mother, though she rarely went there. He used it most of the time to pray and get away from the city. It's about 40 minutes across town from the Forbidden City (city palace). It has its own huge lake, but you never fish in your own lake, only moving water because it would be back luck. On top of the mountain immediately overlooking the palace, there is a two building Buddhist Monk temple. We even saw 4 monks walk by us. The Emperor never talked and rode to the Summer Palace he took his own Dragon boat from the city. There is a special bridge that only he could cross under between the 9th outlet hole, because the Emperor was the only person who could use the number 9.

We made it onto our Xian plane thanks to Jack;s special assistance. We actually walked fast to the terminal and directly onto the plane as it was boarding. So far, 2 of our 4 flights, have been barely so we're hoping for more breather time for future flights. :-))

We had lunch on the plane and they did not have vegan options, so Rob was filled with a beef, udon noodle feast. I was graciously (with much fuss over me, I just thought I'd get some food at the airport once we arrived in Xian) given 4 side rice noodle salads, 2 sides of watermelon, 1 side lettuce salad, 2 beignets, and a water. I could not eat all of the food, so I had to get Rob to eat some of it in order to not seem ungrateful. Rob and I were both full from our flight lunch.

Onward toward Xian and our precious daughter, we flew (about 1 hour and 40 minutes, slightly sw of Beijing).

Love ~

Ginny & Rob

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