Posts tagged “Beijing Parks & Gardens

Temple Roof Detail and Mountains

Temple Roof Detail and MountainsOne of the things I’ve missed in Nanning (as those who’ve already seen
the Hong Kong photos, which appear below this large batch of Beijing
photos, know) is places where I can get into nature, and away from
people. I’ve missed the downtime and quiet that comes from being
surrounded by trees. So after spending all day Saturday walking the
buildings and palaces of central Beijing with our Head of Mission (who
happened to be in Beijing after meetings with MSF-B and before heading
back to Paris for a further week+ of meetings related to our annual
general assembly), I spent my Sunday at a gorgeous park in the far
northwest corner of Beijing, really outside the urban area in the
hills well beyond the fringe � though it’s part of Beijing
administratively. I went for two reasons, 1) My guidebook told me I’d
find, near the entrance, a unique pay-what-your-spirit-calls-for
vegetarian buffet restaurant, and 2) The park sounded lovely and very
enjoyable. Though I spent about an hour searching for the restaurant
(it sounded so good � the dishes are supposed to change every day, and
range widely over different cuisines�yum), I never found it and
actually went rather hungry that day� But it was SO worth it since the
park is really lovely.I got a great hike, plenty of quality time with myself to ponder plans
and the meaning of life and so on. I came into this week, and I pass
on into June, feeling very refreshed by these two weekends out of
town. I’m excited and eager to explore Nanning some more — on my run
this morning, I saw so many things I want to write about here, and
take pictures of. What you’ve seen so far are largely shots that show
the developed and lovely side of China. But when I go for my run by
the river in the morning I see such contrasts between swank new
buildings going up, and folks living in little tin shacks surrounded
by mud and chickens. It’s really quite fascinating, and I hope to get
some photos up for you soon so you don’t get the idea this park and
the shots of Hong Kong, or of Nanhu Park earlier, are all we’ve got
here in China. There are great contrasts here.

But for now: enjoy some shots of a lovely park outside Beijing!

Rock Garden, Buildings, Mountains

Rock Garden, Buildings, MountainsDid I mention the weather was completely gorgeous during my time in
Beijing — here in Nanning it hasn’t gotten below 80 even overnight,
and daytime temperatures have always gone over 90 since mid-April;
humidity doesn’t seem to go below 75 or so…and is usually well over
80, I have to think. So we sweat a lot. In Beijing…blue skies, 70s,
low humidity. Lovely.

Skyline With Buddhas

Skyline With BuddhasThis is the first of two views of the Beijing skyline (assuming these
photos post in the order I hope). Though a small portion of the temple
has been given over to a museum and monument to Sun Yatsen, including
portions of the complex from which this photo was shot, overall much
of the temple is an active temple today — as you saw in the previous
shot of older folks visiting the temple. In light of the many
challenges to the practice of religion that China has seen, especially
during the 60s and 70s (which are referred to, somewhat obliquely, in
the signs at the entrance to the temple complex — they refer to
“destruction” or destructive acts of the temple during something along
the lines of “unrest during the 60s” or some such), I was cheered to
see many people actively worshiping at these buildings, including some
who bowed or saluted these Buddhas and Boddhisatvas.

Beijing from On High

The park also includes the highest mountain close to Beijing —
roughly 500M — which you can either climb on foot via several pretty
steep paths…or take a chair-lift to the top of! I took the chair
lift for the experience, and rather enjoyed thinking about all the
other times I’ve been on chair lifts in interesting and beautiful
places. (Amy, Nancy, and Kip, if you are reading this: yes, I thought
fondly of our time last year in Alta.) From the top, you’ve got a
really nice panoramic view out over all of greater Beijing, as well as
the hills to the north and west – where, another 50K on or so, you’d
get to the most-viewed section of the wall, at Badaling.In this picture, you see a green area with lakes about the center-left
of the photo or so. For those who’ve been, that’s the summer palace —
which gives you a sense of how far out Xiangshan is.