Here are more pics of the summer palace. Some feral cats resting on a big rock in the woods:
A nearby pagoda:
Coming down out of the woods, overlooking what must have been the living quarters.
In the distance you can see the main pavilion.
Now we are by the main gate where the tourists all arrive, so it's suddenly crowded. This creature is called a Qilin:
You can tell by the change in our appearance that we have just climbed over a hill on a hot day.
Some of the Qilin's buddies:
Exploring around this area a bit:
In this time period, even the drains are decorative. I was told that this symbol is thought to bring good luck.
A miniature Qilin on a drum, in the ocean:
Pretty bridge with water lilies.
Mysterious locked gate on the other side of the bridge.
This is not a good picture of it, but the entire length of the shore on this side of the lake has a covered walkway called "The Long Corridor".
Its beams are painted with decorations and medallions representing different stories.
A view of the lake, seen from inside the Long Corridor:
Next we took a boat ride around the lake. Here are some pics of the inside of the boat.
There were also pedal/paddle boats and motorboats, the occupants of these seemed to be having a good time and waved at us.
As we pull away from the dock we can begin to see just HOW large the main hall of the Summer Palace really is. The slanted part is a stairway, too tall to climb in this heat.
Passing another boat.
The main hall as seen from the other side of the lake.
The Seventeen Arches Bridge connecting a small island to the shore.
The island had yet more buildings, but we were getting rather tired and just stayed on the boat. Good thing because the line to get a boat back was tremendous.
On the way back this view of the main hall, you can see a wall going up the side of the hill to the left of the buildings, matching the wall we saw on the other side.
More walking, the last thing I had energy to take a picture of was the Marble Boat, apparently a decorative structure.
From the Summer Palace I took the subway directly to the train station to head home for Jinan. I was so grateful to finally be able to sit down and take off my backpack with all my belongings!