Not much to type for today. Really.
It looked pretty good in the morning, so we made our way to one of the cable cars that go up Cangshan Mountain. It was pretty easy to get there, paid the park fee (to go up a mountain!) and the chair left fee, and off we went. The chairlift turned out to be a ski lift, but it wasn’t bad.
It is still the holiday for cleaning out the graves, so there were a lot of people walking up part of the mountain to get to work. The graves were on either side of the chairlift, and with the steep slope, we didn’t envy the people walking up. Being a tourist has advantages.
At the top of the cablecar there was a short walk to Zhonghe Temple, and a further walk that we planned to do to the next cablecar down. All up it was about 11km.
Zhonghe Temple used to be a proper temple, but we read somewhere that it is now being rented out, and the monks only receive an income from it. Not sure if that is true or not, but the temple itself was quite disappointing for a remote temple half way up a snow covered mountain (Ignore the fact that we cheated to get there!) Even more annoying was the fact that it started drizzling up there. Not sure on what the weather had in store, as it was now dark and bleak compared to the sunny start we had, we decided to try and wait it out. More people appeared and were prepared for a walk, so we thought it was just a matter of time, then even more people came. These were soaking wet, having ridden in the cablecar without any protection from the rain. Now an enterprising man started selling umbrellas and ponchos. People were taking him up on his offers, and disappearing to go back down the mountain. As the rain was now setting in, we followed suit. Getting a couple of ponchos, we joined the throng, after having waited in the cold and wind for over an hour. The ride back down was not too bad. The ponchos were good, and we had brought an umbrella, so we used that to keep the rain off our legs.
We walked all the way back to the coffee shop from yesterday, and as we arrived, the rain stopped and the sun came out. Thinking “Bugger going back, we will get a hot cuppa” we went in and did just that. Assuming that the rain wasn’t over. Or Murphy’s law would apply either way.
The sun stayed out for the rest of the day and we wandered around more of the city. We saw the gates that we had missed before, walked part of the renovated old wall, found the carving streets, where nearly every store was carving the fine woodwork we were seeing all over the city, and out into a part of the newer town, before trying to make our way back for dinner and a hot shower.
Told you it wasn’t that long!