The Three Gorges of the Yangzi, Day 8: Climbing Mt. Hua – Countless steps, countless people, beautiful weather.
“Mountain of People, Sea of People” ren shan ren hai (人山人海) is a Chinese proverb which describes a dense and big crowd of people. It’s not hard to imagine that this is a very common expression in China.
Have you climbed one of China’s holy mountains before? This is what you should expect: Countless staircases and steps, and countless people. On Mt. Hua, we encountered both today, and we had a great time. The ascend from the foot to the first peak of the Western of China’s Daoist Mountains took us about four hours. The stairs got steeper and steeper the higher we climbed and we were quite exhausted when we finally reached the mountain ridge. However, the weather was stable and nice and we were awarded with a stunning scenery and beautiful views.
For everyone who doesn’t like to walk so many steps, you can still get to the to of Mt Hua by cable-car. As most of the Chinese visitors happen to happily avoid the steps, we were suddenly surrounded by many many people. Instead of lonesome mountain paths and quiet contemplation, we found a noisy crowd of young and old who struggled to get in line for the designated picture taking spots. As we were hardly any other Westerners to be seen on the Mountain, we were asked to feature on quite of few pictures. This act usually involves lots of giggle and laughter and we had much fun despite the exhaustion.
Going back down we took the cable-car from the Western peak. What an experience! Non of us (not even the Swiss) had ever been in a cable-car which got even close to the spectacular experience of this one. The car goes down and up and down again, crossing two steep and deep valleys, the whole ride taking about 20 minutes.
We appropriatly ended this nice day with a delicious meal. Tomorrow, we’ll swing on our bikes and head south – more climbing to be expected!