A quiet garden in the heart of Shanghai.
19.06.2012 - 19.06.2012 81 °F
During the Ming Dynasty, a wealthy Shanghai family built a beautiful garden in the heart of the city. The paths in the garden meander over several acres of garden, lake, and rockeries. There are several buildings for tea, opera performances, receiving guests, offices, and general relaxation in the garden, too. It was a refreshing break in our afternoon. I’ve noticed that a lot of the gardens feature giant rocks and asked our guide why. There is a famous lake in China that has beautiful rocks and rock formations. They call it lake rock. It was very popular in gardens and every garden has some of it. The gardens of the wealthy had a lot of the lake rock. In fact, they might build fake little mountains out of it like in the Forbidden City. Inside the Yuyuan Gardens is one very special and large piece of lake rock with 72 holes in it. It was originally for the emperor, but it sunk in the river while it was being transported. A wealthy businessman in Shanghai somehow retrieved it. The head of the Pan family, the owner of the Yuyuan Gardens wanted it so he arranged for his daughter to marry the man’s son and accepted the rock as her dowry. He really wanted that rock! It is in a special place of honor directly in view of his study so that he could gaze on it whenever he wanted. I wonder if he thought of his daughter when he looked at it?
We also had lunch at a restaurant that sold tasty snacks. At least that is what everyone calls them. They look more like tapas to me. We went down a really long counter that had dozens of different types of food and selected the items that we wanted to eat. I chose buns, custards, a soup with mocha balls full of red bean, dumplings, and a cream puff dessert that was almost too pretty to eat. It was the best food that I had the whole time we were in China.