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A Trip to the Summer Palace

2016-06-21 15:44:00Share:

It is said that the weather of Beijing is most desirable in autumn. Looking overhead, I saw but a vast dustless cerulean canopy overarching above, so high and distant as if out of man's reach.


  This, together with the cozy sunshine and refreshing wind, all at once swept the dust and tiredness from my mind. On such a fine morning, I paid my visit to the Summer Palace.

A Trip to the Summer Palace


  I arrived there around 9 o'clock and since it was the seven day long holiday, inevitably, there were indeed a tremendous number of tourists.


  Yet the ancient garden mysteriously excluded those commotions all. Roaming along the slightly sloping paths in Longevity Hill, I was completed enveloped by an atmosphere of extreme tranquility.


  You saw long tailed birds staggering in funny manner. You heard the giggling of birds of various tones and tunes. You felt the course and mute body of old trees, which, with their never the same postures did inspire different vagaries.


  And never would you expect to come across such pretty creatures as squirrels scampering naughtily and boldly on the grass.


  So I strolled there, dreaming that one day I could just live near the Summer Palace, so that I could visit here every dawn in all seasons and weathers; so that I could get acquainted with all these lovely trees and flowers and animals; so that I could find any quiet recess to idle away as many hours as I liked without being hasty because I was just a tourist.


  Soon I reached the Attic of Buddha Fragrance that stood in the middle of the hill facing the Kunming Lake. Here the land scape of nature and a maze of architecture integrated perfectly.


  Stop for a while and look out of the windows on the finely decorated corridors in different angles and varying scenery came into your sight, sometimes distant mountains with the vague image of a tower; sometimes a vista of all the halls and attics and gates and pagoda; sometimes the vast glittering lake spotted with numerous boats and yachts.


  Going down the Longevity Hill and passing the zigzag corridors and the stone boat of ingenious design, I stepped on the long causeway, a bundle of narrow islands linked by bridges, dividing the Kunming Lake into two parts.


  It also rendered the lake two diametrically different temperaments. On one side was that sparkling paradise, vibrant with joy and sunshine.


  The other side seemed almost reclusive, like a huge, immaculate crystal in laid in earth, absorbing and reflecting the subtle complexion of heaven, a deep blue with stretches of mildly bright luster, mingled with the green silhouette of trees at the far end of the lake.


  The near-bank side was covered by a carpet of luxuriant lotus, and though it wasn't summer, their verdant leaves did infuse much life into the landscape.


  There being no wind, its surface looked like an expanse of unruffled silk. And when some gentle breeze wrinkled it, uninterrupted ripples of great diameter silently slided, one by one, thus produced a soft palette of flowing and dancing colors.


  All the way I was listening to Mozart's clarinet concerto and Beethoven's violin sonata "spring", lively reflection of the very essence of the landscape here; a blending of heavenly joy that is innocent and shining and meditative serenity that is sublime and purifying and therefore formed an exquisite tension so that you never felt tired of either.


  Admittedly, it is impossible to fully enjoy all the beauty of Summer Palace in a brief day. But that's enough for it to in scribe a lasting memory in my mind of its intoxicating pleasure and sweet melancholy.

The Imperial Gardens