Summer Palace sits on a manmade heart-shaped lake with long covered walkways decorated with thousands of painted pictures depicting flowers, birds, pastoral scenes and people.
The emperor supposedly played hide and seek with his concubines and wives here. The first lady to find him would be given jade jewelry. The second lady to find him would be given gold jewelry. And the third lady to find him would be given a lesser jewelry, but I can't remember what.
Rock mosaic pathways stretch along the lake. They massage tired feet as you walk and look exquisite too.
People gathered around the girls and would talk animatedly, point and jab. I think if we had stretched out our hats they may have tossed in some coins. Several wanted to see Emily and Jane with their hats off. And of course, they wanted a photo of themselves with our family. More than once an elderly person would push his grandchild over to the strange Caucasians, pull out a fancy phone and snap away. The Chinese kids didn't seem to be as awed by us as the adults.
It really was quite enchanting. The evergreens stretched overhead and the lake was semi-frozen.