Today was the day, where we would visit the Summer Palace. We ate our toasts and were ready to leave, when teacher Chen gave us a surprise visit. He wanted to know if everything is ok and we assured him, that we are totally satisfied with our stay in China.
We took the bus to the bus station where Lili and Tina, a friend of hers, picked us up to drive us to the Summer Palace, which is located in the north-west. A ~3km² area consisting of the Kunming Lake and the Longevity Hill. The Lake is entirely man-made and the dug up soil was used to build the Hill. With Lili and Tina we climbed the Longevity Hill, walked alongside the Kunming Lake and later took the ferry back to where we started our trip. Its a very beautiful, calm and peaceful place contrary to the noisy and busy city that is Beijing.
Very relaxed we drove back downtown, where Lili stopped at a certain super market, where we finally were able to buy the best toast for our toaster. We left with four packs. Next we ate dinner at a very expensive restaurant, where we were allowed to order food on our own, to limit surplus. We did not succeed with our plan and we had to take food home again.
They dropped us off at our school. We imminently went to play some ping pong in the basement of the school, where real ping pong tables are located, not stone ones. Our skill level being quite equal, it led to some fierce ping pong rallies. Soaked in sweat we took a shower and surprisingly quick found a taxi, which took us to friends of ours to play „Doppelkopf“ again. But first we had some delicious homemade dumplings. Neither of us two were able to secure the first place, but it was a very fun evening nevertheless. At around 11pm we tried to find a taxi to bring us home. Unfortunately not a single taxi would stop for us. Maybe they are frightened by foreigners, maybe they avoid the language barrier, I do not know. Disappointed we walked to the bus stop and took the bus home. Luckily other students were kind enough to let us enter the dormitory through their window, because after 10pm every door is locked.
Now we will head to bed, we need some rest for our journey tomorrow to the Ming Tombs.
Lukas and Alex