Summer Palace

On Monday morning we woke up to Momo gone. The storm during the night had opened the outer door and Momo of course used his chance to investigate the neighborhood. Babsi clearly was not so happy, tried to find him already in the morning, saw him again up on the wall but the little devil was in no mood to come with her.

Since both of them had not returned until noon, I left the house with the outer door open to visit the (new) Summer Palace. With the metro (and a metro card lent by Babsi; really the fastest way to get around) this was easily done and in no time I was there.

The Summer Palace turned out to be not just one building but a huge park like area with a lake, halls, a harbor and galleries.

I was astonished when I realized how big it was. Also the restaurants were located in only one area almost at the entrance, so one has to take its nourishment when it’s available. I tried some cold noodles with a sauce and different vegetables. As usual it was very good. The tea I ordered with it was less to my liking, something restorative and invigorating and almost as expensive as the food. I decided I will stick to water or beer from now on.

The restaurants were all around a lake area, so I finished my round there first.

Then I started my ‘Palace’ tour and it was lovely. The gardens were so inviting (and the area was very hilly) that every half an hour I set down to rest a bit.

Here you can see the Marble Boat that Empress Cixi had herself built. Apparently the money was more needed for the army during the Second Opium War but she got her way. Not a wise decision in the end.

The long and shady gallery invited not just me to sit down.

More halls and steps waited for me and they all had similar names. Also in the way they were built I could notice no difference. What I missed were some living quarters. None of the buildings I saw gave me the impression that someone had actually lived in there. Or maybe all that was gone and they had just lived in large halls.

More walking around looking for the right exit ergo the entrance (because that’s where the metro station was), another stop at an artificial lake, some relaxing rest in the shade and then it was time to go home and look for Momo.

When I came home neither was there but then Babsi came with Momo in his carry-on bag. He had still been up on the wall and with the help of the compound janitor and the permission of the head janitor to use the compound ladder (No problem! In China, no problem!) they got Momo down and in the bag. Babsi looked exhausted since Momo hadn’t been a willing participant in this whole adventure.

To make matters easy for the evening she called her colleague Lucy and we met her and her dog Didi half an hour later on the bike. Babsi is the proud owner of an e-bike which has second seat. And on this (I honestly think it is for a child) I sat while she biked to our meeting place and then to the noodle restaurant.

With Lucy as a local and able to really speak Chinese (I was impressed by whatever Babsi said in that language and even more that she seemed to understand what the people said back to her, but I think she is far from fluent) she ordered for us and this is what we got.

This here is the noodle water that they also serve for you to drink. It is very healthy and tasty.

It was so good and the price for the three of us was less than what I had paid a lunch for myself.

We had left the e-bikes outside, Lucy had a bike in the form of a little pick-up truck, and from the vendors outside who watched them we bought melons for home. Don’t they look yummy? Yours, Pollybert

Let me know what you think

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