Location: Beijing

On July 3rd we visited the summer palace. The emperor’s vacation home away from the heated bustling streets of downtown Beijing where the heat scorches your eyes and leaves crying rivers of sweat on your arms and neck. When you step off the bus, the first thing that hits you is the heat. Not the thick heat we are used to but the complete lack of such heat. The difference may not have been so dramatic but when the heat reaches the 90s and air feels like jelly, the change is something you can feel, and it’s beautiful.

Walking around in the Summer Palace was incredible. As you walk along the paved stones, you can only stare at this beautiful lake that is in front of you. The water was glistening like liquid emeralds, tiny boats floating peacefully amongst the numerous small fish that populate the waters. In the distance, you see tall towers, with eight-pointed corners and waxed tiles that shines like gold, or the famed Seventeen-Arch Bridge leading to an island. An island of trees and castles; the castles where the emperor would have lived and partied. When you walk amongst the corridors, every painting is different, and every tree feels unique and full of life. Lotus flowers dot the shoreline with specks of pink and red. My descriptions may seem blown way out of proportion, but it isn’t. You are walking in the Summer Palace, where the son of dragons lives. And we’ve seen it first hand.