Friday, October 7, 2011

Yuanming Yuan

October 5, 2005
For our National Day holiday we toured the Old Summer Palace, Yuanming Yuan or the Garden of Perfect Brightness. Built by the Quing Qianlong emperor in the mid-18th century the gardens included many halls, and temples. In one corner of the gardens the emperor commissioned Jesuits at his court to design and build a set of European-style buildings. During the Second Opium War in 1860 the British and French troops burnt all the traditional Chinese halls and temples. Later the European-style buildings were pulled down, and the stones used by locals for building purposes.

Chinese tourists using the ruins for a portrait backdrop.
Notice the swastika in the pattern of the wall.
The swastika is both a Buddhist and Hindu symbol.
The European maze was recreated with a stone wall.
Graceful fragments of marble.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Longqing (Dragon) Gorge

July 2011
We spent the day with our friends the Jackson's and Hoskin's at Dragon Gorge. The scenery was spectacular. Mountains in general are a favorite of ours because the majesty of the God of Creation is reflected in their lofty peaks. But mountains with a lake was a special treat. The whimsical nature of the Chinese is shown by the escalator climbing up the mountain covered in the colorful skin of a dragon whose mouth gaped open to entice visitors inside.

Ruth and George.
Notice the the dragons entwined on the lamppost and the foot bridge.
Joe & Katie Hoskin with Kaia, Kendyl, Ben Jackson and Ruth

Sidney Hoskin Bungee-jumping (or rather being pushed)
Ruth and the mystical peacock
Peacock is associated benevolence, patience, kindness, compassion and knowledge.