Thursday, April 18, 2013

Stone Elephant Lake (Shixiang)

We finally got a free weekend to go to Stone Elephant Lake.  We went with a dentist and her husband, Rachel and Michael, who Kirk has been working with at the Dental Clinic.  We had to take a bus ride an hour south of Chengdu, and the tulips were pretty far spent already, but we still saw some beautiful sights.
The last of the tulips.

It was a beautiful, sunshiny day.

Poppy in a field of poppies!

The iris were still in full bloom.

Stone Elephant Lake Gardens

We stopped for lunch in a scary cafe, sharing the food with unknown other guests and not seeing the kitchen where the food was prepared.  But we're getting used to that in China.  We just always ask a blessing, and we're "not dead yet".

Of course there is a temple on the hill, this one 1000 years old, called the Shixiang Temple (Stone Elephant).  There is a large stone elephant statue in the temple, but we didn't climb up to it.

The beautiful little Shixiang Lake, (actually a reservoir) offers boat rides, so of course we went along.

Jungle Boat Cruise
Zoom in and read the translation--funny!

 The entrance to the temple.

I felt like we were in Louisiana floating through the bayous with all the trees coming down to the water level.  It was a very intimate, small lake, and the water was pretty clean!
Definitely NOT Louisiana--this dragon had a twin across the lake, so it must have had a bridge or connection at one time.

Love This Shot!

 Some of the prettiest flowers were the tiny wild iris--and no one had to plant them or tend them.  Look at the beautiful colors and design.

This is the bridge we could see from the boats earlier.  It was a fun little ride and beautiful scenery.

Rachel and Michael had brought a picnic blanket, so we set it out and sat watching the people and enjoying some snacks.  It was a relaxing time.

One of our favorite sights to watch was this darling little boy.  He could have been any one of our sons.  So happy, energetic, full of life.  He cheered our hearts and made us long for our grandchildren.

Boys will be Boys

And of course, we had to see at least ONE stone elephant.  Kirk is giving him peanuts!

As we drove back home, we went past farms where the main crop was tea.  There were also delicious orange orchards (we tried some).  We saw some Chinese cemeteries, and single graves that were in the center of the field with a large pole sticking out of it with a flag on top.
Tea fields

Orange trees


There were nets in this pond, and we think they were growing seed pearls, as that's a big product in this area.

And in case you're hungry, you can buy some meat....

off this bicycle cart.....

with no refrigeration......

and no inspectors.

No thanks.

1 comment:

  1. Have you guys seen any apple trees? I was thinking that apples were originally native to china. . .