Friday, May 25, 2007

Day 8 continued - Summer Palace

Once again I missed an evening of blogging. We were all feeling a bit giddy last night and needed some rest to adjust to the altitude. First, let me start by describing our last full day in Beijing.

I realize that I began my last entry talking about the activities in the park around the Temple of Heaven, but never really talked about the complex itself. The Emperor would spend one month hear to pray for a good harvest and abundant rains. We only visited a small portion, including the area around the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. Here is a picture of it.
Our afternoon was spent at the Summer Palace, the imperial retreat from the heat of the Forbidden City. It was nearly 86 degrees in Beijing, but walking through the grounds, we found it quite comfortable with many shaded areas a breeze coming from the lake. Here are two pictures I first want to share. The first shows the Palace Temple as it actually appeared through the camera and with the naked eye. The second photo was enhanced.
This is just one way to show you how bad the pollution is in Beijing. Here are a few more pictures of the Summer Palace complex.




Finally, on our last drive back to the hotel, we passed the Olympic complex. Here is a picture of the famous "Bird's Nest" stadium under construction.
My entry ends here as it is Saturday morning and I must prepare to head out. Obviously, we did arrive safely in Lhasa. We are currently at 3,650 m, or just above 12,000 feet. I promise to write this evening about our trip in and the day today.

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