ok, so while my littlest man yuri, our partner-in-crime cronin and i should have initially spent our sight-seeing explore hunting down portlandia's women and women first feminist bookstore, the doily shoppe or the artisan knot store, we instead chose to see lan su chinese garden. it was built using traditional materials while adhering to 16th century methods. the garden was designed with the idea that it be perceived as having an infinite amount of space while in actuality confined to a single city block.
there were these crazy rocks throughout made of limestone. the shapes are formed underwater over the passage of hundreds of years. the active waters erode some of the stone and leave behind these fantastic shapes. the more eccentric the rocks, the more it is prized. if you viewed the rocks from bottom to top its similar to climbing up a mountain peak. the "rockery" is strategically placed among the trees and buildings to appear as rugged mountain ranges in the distance with streams and waterfalls.
another detail that kept catching my eye were bat-shaped drip tiles that hung from the rooflines. each tile is adorned with five bats, representing the five blessings: long life, fortune, health, a love of virtue and a painless passing.
wow– what a place! even the roof has meaning....