Temple after temple after temple. An eyeful of palace and pavilions plus China’s mid-afternoon summer sun makes me thirsty for a body of water! Ah, a ferryboat ride across the Kunming Lake in the Summer Palace would be a favorable break. So, from the grandeur of the Inner City, we head off northwest of Beijing sometime between a hearty Szechuan lunch and digestion. Second of two parts of CUFE group’s first touring day with Jing (as in Beijing).
And the Error 99? Well it’s just the dead Emperors’ way of saying “yo, give a damn!” I mean, photography lovers they are the most deprived creatures on this planet. They spend most of their lives living in a viewfinder. And the only time they can smell the roses is when something pops up from their hole. Like an Error 99.
In Kunming Lake, I found the occasion to smell the “roses” while the 400D hangs loose around my neck. But not all the time.
Seemed like every tourist destination in China is swarming with rubbernecks. To escape the crowd, we paced from the East Palace Gate to the Yulan Hall, took a glance at some lotuses at the Yiyun Hall and to the Long Corridor and finally to the Shizhang Pavilion for the ferryboat ride to Nanhu Isle before crossing the 17 Arch Bridge. whew!
Whatever the Emperor puts up, people have to swing by. In hundred thousands. Much better to smooth along Kunming Lake far and wide than to exchange faces with the throngs of day-trippers on the pavilions.
What really caught my attention was The Seventeen Arch Bridge or Shiqi Kong Qiao. This 150 meter long bridge links the east bank to the Dragon King’s Temple in the Nanhu Isle. It is the longest bridge in any Chinese imperial garden and was named for its seventeen arches. Over 500 stone lions in different poses were carved on the posts of the bridge’s railings. Four strange animals were carved at both ends of the bridge; they are outstanding examples of Qing Dynasty stone carving skills.