Granite spires and twisted pines

Trip Start Apr 20, 2010
Trip End May 04, 2010

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Flag of China  , Anhui,
Sunday, April 25, 2010

(This is a cut/paste version of the normal blog I have written here: )

We then flew down to Nanjing where my brother is working towards his post-doc in civil engineering at Southeast University. His wife is a farmer and is in the states now working on her studies, so sadly she wasn't able to join us.  We just stayed the night in Nanjing before getting on a 5hr bus ride to Huangshan National park.  I had visions of it being full of beautiful granite spires and twisted pine trees, and it was just that!  It is said that many of Chinas ancient poets and artistes were inspired by this area, think of the quintessential ink painting of the sharp mountains all covered in mist, that is most likely based on Huangshan.  Andrew had invited one of his coworkers, Youngshoe, who had never visited Huangshan to come along with us; it was nice to have him there!  For an outdoor adventure, it was rather crowded, but I guess that does go without saying in China.  The hike up was very well maintained, stairs and cobble stones the whole trip.  We were impressed with the lack of baggage for people also spending the night, most did it with a school bag or a purse.  We on the other hand were toting a big-ol backpack.  In our defense, Sebastian was by far the youngest we saw and he requires a lot of gear.  Impressively, everything that is on top of that mountain, all the hotels, shops, restaurants and all of the things in them, were carried up by porters.  Lots of skinny men, hauling impressively large bundles.  There are cable cars, but I honestly don’t think much of the items were carried up in those.  After watching the sunrise the second day, or rather watching all the Chinese watch the sun finally murk its way through some clouds, we went around a back side loop which was low on the guided tour groups but excelled on the breath taking views and walkways!  How in the world did they construct those walkways and staircases 100ft up a cliff face?!  It was beautiful and we had it (mostly) to ourselves!

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