It was the third straight day of lovely Beijing fall
weather. The north winds have cleared the skies of PM2.5 particulates, leaving
but a few clouds on a blue background, calling for a Summer Palace tour on a
lazy Friday afternoon. Just before 2 PM, I filled my water bottles, changed
into my running gear and headed out to the subway. The number 4 line runs right
past Peking U.’s East Gate, a mere stone’s throw from my office. The number 4
line also runs past the northern entrance of Yiheyuan (Yi-he-yuan, i.e., the Summer Palace). At 2:15 PM, I was at
the Beigongmen, or North Palace Gate,
entrance of the Summer Palace. I walked around the hill (topped by FoXiang Ge, or Buddha Fragrance Temple),
and started to run at 2:20 PM, as I reached the Marble Boat on the north edge
of Kunming Lake.
|17 Arches Bridge (photo taken June '12)|
I carefully negotiated the crowd along Changlang (the Long Corridor) and only started to run my usual pace, at 2:36, after the crowd started to dissipate after the Shiqikong Bridge (17 Arches Bridge).
|The bridge next to the South Gate|
I reached the southern most gate at 2:41 PM, and headed to Xidi (West Dike). My left knee started to hurt a little from the pounding on the stone slab paved walkway. So I started to slow down a bit and shuffle (instead of bouncing). The view from the southern side of Kunming Lake was breathtaking. Unfortunately, I only had my Nokia (dumb) cell phone with me and so you will have to settle for these poorly snapped photos.
|View from Xidi|
By 2:56 I reached the bifurcation point on Xidi, where I took this photo. Ten minutes later I ended my run at the bathroom just west of Shiqiao (Stone Bridge). I stretched a bit at stone bridge where boats between Kunming Lake and Suzhou Jie (a make-believe version of a Suzhou waterfront row). When I finished stretching my hamstrings, I looked up and saw a tourist snapping a photo in my direction --- and so I probably ended up in a photo folder on somebody’s computer, stretching in front of the Stone Bridge.
|View towards Suzhou Jie from the Stone Bridge|
Miscellany. Unfortunately, for some reason, the current version of google maps doesn’t allow me to mark up my run around Kunming Lake:
but measurement using baidu maps showed that the long way around Kunming Lake, by taking the farthest branch on Xidi, is around 6.5 km.
|At the southern end of Kunming Lake (June '12)|
Since the photos taken with my Nokia were rather poor, I had to fill this blog partially with old photos of the Summer Palace. Perhaps I should finally get a smartphone? (The alternative would be to remember to carry my Canon S95 on my runs?!?!)
|View of Buddha Fragrance Temple from the east (June '12)|